pennsylvania energy polling

Pa. Voters Hit Hard by High Energy Costs, Say Energy Affordability is Important to their 2024 Vote

Harrisburg, Pa., March 19, 2024 — A significant majority of Pennsylvania voters (80 percent) say their household energy bills have increased over the past two years, including 34 percent who say their bills have increased “a lot,” according to a new Commonwealth Foundation poll released today. The statewide survey investigated voters’ attitudes toward various state and federal energy issues, finding that most Pennsylvanians (67 percent) say ensuring affordable energy is a higher priority than combatting climate change (33 percent).

“Pennsylvania voters have made it clear they prioritize energy affordability and reliability over climate alarmism,” said André Béliveau, Commonwealth Foundation’s senior manager of energy policy. “Likewise, Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support economic freedom and oppose excessive government regulations and red tape.”

Key findings from the poll include:

  • Rising Energy Costs Are Top Voter Concern: Eight in 10 voters say their household energy bills have increased over the past two years, and more than two-thirds (70 percent) say they’re concerned about affording their family’s energy needs. Rising energy costs (63 percent) top the list as the most prominent environmental issue in Pennsylvania.
  • Energy Affordability a Critical Policy Priority: Energy affordability remains a top priority ahead of the November elections, with 81 percent saying it is an important factor in deciding which candidates to support and 34 percent saying it is very important. Sixty percent are concerned “about the reliability of the Pennsylvania electricity grid and the possibility of blackouts.”
  • Pennsylvanians Want Candidates Focused on Lower Costs: A 59 percent majority want candidates committed to lowering energy costs and using natural resources, compared to 41 percent who prioritize environmental protection.
  • RGGI Opposition Grows after Cost Details: Only 22 percent initially supported the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) carbon tax. After learning that RGGI would raise electricity bills by 30 percent, a majority (63 percent) of those who initially supported or were undecided about RGGI said they would be less likely to support the initiative.
  • No Appetite for Climate Change Costs: Two-thirds (67 percent) of Pennsylvanians are unwilling to pay to combat climate change.

Béliveau continued: “Pennsylvanians support a resurgence in American energy dominance and overwhelmingly oppose RGGI and similar policies. Governor Shapiro would do well to listen to everyday Pennsylvanians, not the bought and paid-for green lobby activists in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C.”

Additional findings include:

  • 94 percent think it is important for the U.S. to achieve energy independence rather than rely on foreign countries.
  • 70 percent support “Pennsylvania building more natural gas pipelines to transport natural gas to homes and businesses, ease the strain on our electrical grid, and reduce our state’s energy costs.”
  • 68 percent oppose “Pennsylvania following the actions of other states, like California, that banned the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035.”
  • 62 percent oppose limits on dairy and meat consumption to reduce the impact of climate change.

The poll surveyed 800 registered Pennsylvania voters from February 28 through March 6, 2024.

Read the complete poll findings and crosstabs here.


The Commonwealth Foundation turns free-market ideas into public policies, fostering prosperity for all Pennsylvanians.