Pledge of community funds from electricity grid developer ‘likelier to sway men’
Men are more likely than women to be swayed by promises of money for their local community by developers wanting to build vital electricity infrastructure close to where they live.
In a poll, 67% of men said that a community fund provided by an electricity grid developer would make them more in favour of a power line running within five miles of their home.
Among women, 55% said that such a fund would make them more likely to support the infrastructure upgrades.
People with higher levels of education were also more likely to support such a fund, the survey showed, and people were generally more predisposed to such a fund if they were older.
While only 50% of 18-34 year olds said this would make them more favourable, that rose for older groups, peaking at 72% for those aged between 55 and 64.
It comes days after an independent report commissioned by the Government suggested direct payments to households and community funds as a way to get support for the UK’s energy grid.
The grid is going to need to be massively expanded to cope with the green transition. Electricity will need to be transported all across the country to power heat pumps, charge electric cars and keep the lights on.
Around six in 10 of the 1,039 people polled online by Survation on July 14 said that they wanted clarity on how the power lines would increase the security of their energy supply, help reduce emissions and create jobs.
Conservative voters were more likely than the rest of the population to support updates to the infrastructure, the survey found.
It showed that 64% of voters were in favour of new electricity grid infrastructure while 71% of people who voted Conservative in 2019 were in favour.
RenewableUK director of future electricity systems Barnaby Wharton said: “This polling shows that, contrary to some widespread misconceptions, most people are actually in favour of building vital new grid infrastructure to connect up clean energy projects and enable them to deliver cheap power to British homes and businesses, increasing our energy security.
“It’s interesting for Government to note that Conservative voters support this even more than the general public.
“Not only is there a strong foundation of support for new grid development, but Government can build on that support by taking forward the recommendations in the report just released by the Government’s electricity networks commissioner Nick Winser.
“One of the clear messages from the polling is that people want to feel the benefits of hosting new grid near their homes, with funding for local community projects high on their list of priorities, alongside clear explanations of why it’s needed and how they can influence what’s built in their area.”
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