Majority of Canadians are concerned about energy prices for things like heating and transportation over the next six months

A public opinion survey by Positive Energy and Nanos Research published in Fall 2022.

PE OMNI December

The survey

The research (PDF, 3.81MB) gauged the opinions among Canadians on accuracy of statements related to a low carbon economy and climate policy, concern for energy prices, and the job done by governments in Canada on ensuring energy affordability and security. Canadians were also asked about their views on the best time to address climate change.

Media Coverage

The Findings

Views on energy & affordability

  1. Canadians are concerned about energy prices over the next six months:
    • About seven in ten (7/10) Canadians are concerned about energy prices and how they will pay for things like heating and transportation over the next six months. Canadians are seven times more likely to say they are very concerned (35%) rather than not concerned at all (4%)
  2. The job done by the governments in Canada ensuring energy is affordable is seen as average at best
    • Just over one in two (1/2) Canadians say governments in Canada do a very poor (30%) or poor (23%) job of ensuring energy is affordable as Canada works to meet its climate change targets, while one in three (1/3) say they do an average job (33%). Only 8% of Canadians say governments do good (7%) or very good (1%) job. There has been in noticeable increase in the proportion of Canadians who think governments do a very poor job since the question was last asked in May 2022 (30% in November 2022, compared in 24% in May 2022).
  3. Reasons for views on job done by governments in Canada ensuring energy affordability
    • When asked the reason for their views on the job done by governments in Canada of ensuring energy is affordable, those who said they do a very poor or poor job most often mentioned energy/ green alternatives and gas prices are high (25%), followed by the carbon tax is not effective and drives up all costs (20%). Those who said an average job is being done most often said that we are on the right path, but more can be one (16%) followed by there has been no real action or the government has no say in it (13%).
  4. Agreement that Canada should expand oil and gas exports to help energy security
    • Consistent with the previous wave in May 2022, about six in ten Canadians agree (35%; 33% in May) or somewhat agree (26%; 25% in May) that Canada should expand oil and gas exports to help the world have more secure and reliable energy supplies. Residents of the prairies (56%) and men (44%) are most likely to agree with this.

 

Views on climate change ambition

  1. Timing to be ambitious in addressing climate change even if there are costs to economy
    • The proportion of Canadians who think it is the best time for Canada to be ambitious in addressing climate change even if there are costs to the economy continues its steady decline since August 2021 with just under one in two who say so (48%; 51% in May 2022; 54% in February 2022; 64% in August 2021) (score of 7-10 out of 10). Residents of Quebec (mean score of 6.7 out of 10) and B.C. (mean score of 6.5) are most likely to think it is the best time.
  2. Reasons for views on whether it is the best time to be ambitious in addressing climate change
    • When asked the reason for their views on whether it is the best time to be ambitious in addressing climate change, those who think it is the best time most often said we need to act now, climate change can't wait (80%). Those who think it is the worst time to be ambitious most often said so because of the current financial situation, inflation and an upcoming recession (28%) followed by the government has not been effective in addressing climate changes or there is nothing canada can do to alter climate change in any meaningful way (13%).