BOSTON, MA – A new statewide poll shows that nearly 70 percent of Massachusetts voters believe the solar power industry is important to the Massachusetts economy – up 10 percent since June. The poll, conducted by Princeton Research Associates and released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), also shows that nearly 60 percent of voters see direct benefits from solar power in their cities and towns.
“Massachusetts has made a significant investment in solar, becoming a national leader in terms of effective, progressive policies that benefit the state’s economy, its citizens and the environment,” said Carrie Cullen-Hitt, SEIA Senior Vice President of State Affairs. “We are pleased that as a result of these important solar initiatives, an increasing number of Massachusetts voters are now seeing the direct benefit of solar in their lives and in their local communities.”
The poll also found that nearly 60 percent of the 500 voters surveyed were in strong support of Governor Patrick’s recent decision to quadruple the state’s solar power generation goal from 400 megawatts (MW) to 1600 MW, which is the equivalent of a large fossil fuel plant. In addition, 55 percent of those surveyed were supportive of policies in place to incentivize solar energy system installations, including net metering.
“More and more Massachusetts municipalities are recognizing the benefits of solar power, and with good reason,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “As a national leader in this effort, New Bedford’s solar installations have helped create local jobs, re-purposed formerly contaminated properties, and saved taxpayers millions in electricity costs.”
SEIA’s most recent Solar Market Insight report highlighted that Massachusetts had moved up one spot to rank 4th nationally in third quarter solar installations. The Commonwealth currently has more than 283 solar companies at work throughout the value chain, employing 8,400 people across the state.
Princeton Research Associates conducted the poll of 500 voters in Massachusetts between December 5 and 9, 2013. The margin of error is +/- 5%.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.