Conservation Minnesota

Austin Energy Survey Results

The Austin Energy Survey

Conservation Minnesota mailed nearly 5,000 surveys to Austin residents asking if they support or oppose past and potential future actions related to energy use and conservation. The goal of the survey was to reach a broad cross section of the community. We mailed surveys to a cross-section of residents hitting every neighborhood in the community.

It is important to note that this is not a scientific survey, but can still provide important insight about community opinions and attitudes.

Key Findings

  • Austin residents were very interested in the survey. In all, 556 people completed the survey for a response rate of over 11%. This is more than five times higher than a typical direct mail response rate.
  • Respondents strongly support past community actions aimed at promoting energy conservation and use of renewable energy.
  • Respondents are strongly supportive of the city taking more steps to use healthy, renewable energy here in Austin and believe the city should support similar efforts at the state level.

Responses to Survey Questions 

( )= Strongly

Question 1: Do you support Austin Utilities offering rebates and programs for both individuals and businesses to reduce their energy use and increase use of solar energy?

– Support:  87% (74%)
– Neutral: 6%
– Opposed:  7%

Question 2: Do you support Minnesota’s clean energy policies that have helped create more than 15,000 jobs statewide including 3,500 jobs in Southern and Southwestern Minnesota, many of which are in the wind industry?

– Support:  83% (65%)
– Neutral: 9%
– Opposed:  8%

Question 3: In 2013, the Minnesota Municipal Utility Association lobbied against Austin residents being included in the state’s solar energy standard. Do you support or oppose this action?

– Support:  18%
– Neutral: 30%
– Opposed:  52% (37%)

Question 4: In 2014, the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency announced it will voluntarily meet the state’s solar energy standard and generate 1.5% of Austin’s electricity using solar technology. Do you support or oppose this action?

– Support:  78%  (58%)
– Neutral:    14%
– Opposed:  8%

Question 5: Would you support a City Council resolution requiring future energy growth for your city to be supplied with low cost renewable energy?

– Support:  81% (61%)
– Neutral: 8%
– Opposed:  11%

Question 6: Do you support replacing outdated power plants with low cost renewable energy in the future?

– Support:  76% (54%)
– Neutral: 13%
– Opposed:  11%

Question 7: Should the City of Austin support increasing our state’s renewable energy goals?

– Support:  79% (58%)
– Neutral:  11%
– Opposed:  10%