Since the IRA passed last year, Potential Energy has surveyed over 40,000 Americans on what they think about clean energy, carried out 22 focus groups, and measured the impact of 150 million ads about heat pumps and electric school buses. Here are the findings. Climate matters: the leading message to increase support for the Inflation Reduction Act and clean energy is one we call “Landmark Climate Achievement.” Community action is much easier to stoke than individual behavior change: the argument that new savings are available didn’t yet move masses of people, but the argument that we can now have cleaner schools and cleaner communities resonated highly. Opposition to clean energy is sometimes fierce, but very narrow: the great majority of the opposition sits with only 13% of people, but everyone else wants clean energy. “My town” and “my state” matter more than “my country”: enthusiasm around patriotism-centric ideas like “We Will Never Run out of America” and “America Powers America” was blunted by the hard truth that people can see many Americas.
IRA turns one. A year later, what have we learned?