Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Are people willing to pay more for Green Energy? NO!

Everyone wants to feel good about themselves. So, when asked by pollsters if they support "green" energy most people say, why yes, I am a good person so I support good causes.

BUT, when people make a quantitative decision based on complete information about the costs of green energy they say NO.

Close to a million electricity customers have signed up for such payments voluntarily, and the amount of electricity sold in this way has nearly tripled since 2005, amid rising concern about climate change and energy security. But the participants are in a distinct minority, with a sign-up rate of only about 2 percent in programs run by utilities.

The low sign-up rate raises a question: If large majorities of Americans favor increased government support for clean energy, as polls suggest, why are so many people reluctant to back such programs when it comes to paying extra themselves?

One reason might be that they think the added expense is too high. Solar and wind power generally cost more than power generated with fossil fuels. While many people support alternative energy in principle, they personally may not want to spend hundreds of dollars more for electricity, especially in the current economic environment.