ENERGY 
Survey
Results

In April and May 2015, 52,845 Utahns shared their voice through the Your Utah, Your Future survey. Participants chose their favorite scenarios for energy and other topics. After choosing their favorite scenarios, survey participants had the option to answer a series of questions to prioritize energy among other issues, determine the most important outcomes of energy generation, and identify how willing they would be to accept certain tradeoffs for different sources of energy. The survey results were cross-checked against a random-sample survey to ensure they represented the desires and opinions of Utahns.

What Utahns Want

More Utahns chose the scenario presented in Allosaurus, Bonneville Trout, and Seagull than chose any other scenario. This scenario emphasized low cost and a reliance on natural gas, though it also included using substantially more renewable energy than today. A significant number also chose the Quaking Aspen scenario, which included an energy mix of not only natural gas and renewables, but also nuclear power. Fewer were interested in the Sego Lily scenario, in which renewables increased to about half of Utah’s energy sources, requiring energy storage and therefore significantly increasing costs.

Why Utahns Want It

Utahns want energy that is clean, reliable, and affordable. Utahns placed most importance on minimizing air pollution, followed by minimizing CO2 emissions and limiting our vulnerability to supply disruption. Though household cost was a key factor in which scenario people voted for, limiting household costs was ranked the fourth most important outcome by the 52,845 survey participants. Respondents to the random-sample survey, however, ranked limiting household costs second, not fourth. Rural residents were more concerned about vulnerability to supply disruption than they were about any other outcome.

What Utahns Are Willing To Do

Utahns are willing to have a diverse energy portfolio that balances all the benefits and concerns of energy production. They are willing to use more of Utah’s land for renewable energy production and for natural gas wells as long as it’s done in an environmentally responsible manner. However, Utahns are not willing to have more air pollution and CO2 emissions, and they are very unwilling to be vulnerable to energy supply disruptions or price spikes caused by an over reliance on a single energy source. They are also hesitant to incur significant energy storage costs resulting from much higher renewable energy production. Lastly, Utahns are unwilling to accept nuclear energy because of the risks of accidents and waste storage.

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WHAT UTAHNS WANT: RANDOM SAMPLE

A random-sample survey of 1,264 Utahns was also conducted as part of the 52,845 public responses. The public responses and the random-sample survey results were virtually identical across all topics. However, in the random-sample survey, the preference for the Allosaurus, Bonneville Trout, and Seagull energy scenario increased from 43% to 53%.

In addition, in the larger outreach survey, rural residents chose the energy scenario in Allosaurus, Bonneville Trout, and Seagull in a greater amount (52%) than those in urban or semi-rural areas.

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