Deliberative Polling®: Energy Choices

Energy Choices 1-Pager

Energy Choices 1-Pager

Vermont's Energy Future

The Deliberative Poll® questioned an initial random sample of Vermonters, recruited them to spend a weekend deliberating the issues of how Vermont should meet its future electricity needs, and then questioned them again at the conclusion of the weekend sessions. The results addressed a large number of policy issues: for example, what reliance should be placed on energy efficiency and on energy from various sources like wind, nuclear, and hydro in meeting Vermont’s future electricity needs; whether the state should continue to buy energy from existing suppliers and whether the state should rely more on a few large central facilities or a larger number of smaller and more geographically distributed ones.

Results and Materials


Nova Scotia Power

Nova Scotia Power's "Energy Forum" brought together 150 people from across the province to talk about fossil fuels, renewable energy, the environment and energy conservation.

Texas Electric Utilities

Between 1996 and 1998, eight Texas electric utilities polled their customers to determine what energy options they preferred to meet future electric requirements.

The Deliberative Polls combined telephone surveys with town meetings where customers learned more about energy choices and discussed energy issues with each other and with panels of experts. After deliberating, they responded to the initial survey again, this time on the basis of their informed opinions.

Customers changed their opinions substantially based on the information they gained during the town meetings. The results were unanticipated by either the utilities or their regulators; both entities changed their level of interest in and commitment to renewables and efficiency as a result of what they heard from customers.

Nebraska Public Power District

On August 9, 2003, the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) invited a scientificallyselected sample of its wholesale and retail residential customers to discuss energy alternatives.