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Most New Jersey residents prefer using natural gas to heat their homes and power appliances, and they don’t want to be forced to transition from gas to electric heat, according to a new research poll on energy issues from Affordable Energy for New Jersey. 

The public opinion survey conducted by Illuminate Research found that 76% of respondents view natural gas favorably as an energy source. When asked if all homes should be mandated to transition from natural gas to electric heat, 61% of those surveyed were opposed. 

“The results of this opinion survey clearly show that regulators and legislators are out of touch as to what New Jersey residents energy preferences are,” said Ron Morano, Affordable Energy for New Jersey executive director. “We need sound energy policy that includes reliable, affordable and realistic choices not unrealistic, expensive mandates.” 

Cost clearly was top-of-mind for respondents. Although 61% percent of respondents said they would support New Jersey moving toward more solar and wind power, that support plunged to 29% if that meant higher utility bills. 

In fact, when respondents were specifically the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has calculated that getting 100% of the state’s power from wind and solar could quadruple monthly power bills, only 9% supported paying that to get New Jersey completely off fossil fuels. Seventy-eight percent said they would be opposed and 13% said they were unsure. 

According to the survey, residents preferred natural gas, solar and nuclear as New Jersey’s primary energy source with 22% choosing natural gas, 22% choosing solar, 21% choosing nuclear and 20% undecided. Only 6% preferred wind power.  

Asked how they felt about the State of New Jersey using taxpayer dollars to go to court to stop natural gas pipeline projects, 57% said they were opposed. 

“The numbers in this survey show clear support of natural gas. Before the Board of Public Utilities goes back to the drawing board to update the Energy Master Plan, they need to listen to New Jersey residents, not come back with more of the same,” added Morano. 

Affordable Energy for New Jersey (AENJ) is a broad, grassroots coalition, which includes NJBIA, that advocates for actionable, fact-driven energy policy that emphasizes keeping costs low for residents and businesses. The coalition evaluates energy policies and proposals based by asking three questions: Is It feasible? Is It reliable? What does It cost? 

Survey results are based on online surveys of 1,158 registered New Jersey voters collected between March 5-7 from cell phone users randomly drawn from a sample of registered voters reflecting the demographic and partisan characteristics of the voting population. The survey has an overall margin of sampling error of +/- 2.9% with a confidence interval of 95%.