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Title: Listening to Customers: How Deliberative Polling Helped Build 1,000 MW of New Renewable Energy Projects in Texas

Abstract

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(TM) 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. Subsequent to the Deliberative Polls, utilities and independent suppliers have made substantial investments in new renewable energy-based generation projects. And in 1999, the Texas Legislature included a renewable portfolio standard in the state's electricity restructuring law. All told, more than 1,000 MW of new renewables capacity has been developed in Texas since the deliberative polling events. The important contribution of the deliberative polls was to provide a measurement of what is important to those most affected by energy resource decisions--the public.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
15003900
Report Number(s):
NREL/TP-620-33177
TRN: US201015%%192
DOE Contract Number:  
AC36-99-GO10337
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; CAPACITY; EFFICIENCY; ELECTRIC UTILITIES; ELECTRICITY; TEXAS; RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES; DELIBERATIVE POLLS; ENERGY CHOICES; UTILITIES; RENEWABLE ENERGY; PUBLIC OPINION; RENEWABLE PORTFOLIO STANDARD; TOWN MEETING; ENVIRONMENT; WILLINGNESS TO PAY; MARKET; BLAIR SWEZEY; DENNIS THOMAS; WILL GUILD; RONALD LEHR; National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Citation Formats

Lehr, R. L., Guild, W., Thomas, D. L., and Swezey, B. G. Listening to Customers: How Deliberative Polling Helped Build 1,000 MW of New Renewable Energy Projects in Texas. United States: N. p., 2003. Web. doi:10.2172/15003900.
Lehr, R. L., Guild, W., Thomas, D. L., & Swezey, B. G. Listening to Customers: How Deliberative Polling Helped Build 1,000 MW of New Renewable Energy Projects in Texas. United States. doi:10.2172/15003900.
Lehr, R. L., Guild, W., Thomas, D. L., and Swezey, B. G. Sun . "Listening to Customers: How Deliberative Polling Helped Build 1,000 MW of New Renewable Energy Projects in Texas". United States. doi:10.2172/15003900. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/15003900.
@article{osti_15003900,
title = {Listening to Customers: How Deliberative Polling Helped Build 1,000 MW of New Renewable Energy Projects in Texas},
author = {Lehr, R. L. and Guild, W. and Thomas, D. L. and Swezey, B. G.},
abstractNote = {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(TM) 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. Subsequent to the Deliberative Polls, utilities and independent suppliers have made substantial investments in new renewable energy-based generation projects. And in 1999, the Texas Legislature included a renewable portfolio standard in the state's electricity restructuring law. All told, more than 1,000 MW of new renewables capacity has been developed in Texas since the deliberative polling events. The important contribution of the deliberative polls was to provide a measurement of what is important to those most affected by energy resource decisions--the public.},
doi = {10.2172/15003900},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2003},
month = {6}
}

Technical Report:

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