Between 1996 and 1998, eight Texas electric utilities polled their customers to determine what energy options they preferred to meet future electric requirements.
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.
The Deliberative Polls 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.
- Does Deliberation Increase Public-Spiritedness? Rui Wang, James S. Fishkin and Robert C. Luskin
- Deliberative Polling® and Policy Outcomes: Electric Utility Issues in Texas Robert Luskin, James S. Fishkin and Dennis Plane
- Listening to Customers: How Deliberative Polling Helped Buld 1,000 MW of New Renewable Energy Projects in Texas National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Texas Electric Utilities: Video Overview
- The frontier spirit. The Economist 5/14/1998 (Updated 11/2/2009) PDF
- Opinion: It’s not too late to make a difference on the climate crisis Boston Globe 4/2021 PDF
- Book Excerpt: How the Public Got Behind Texas Wind Power, The Texas Tribune 9/2013 PDF
The renewable-energy epiphany that launched Texas wind power came through an unexpected channel: public opinion polls in the mid-1990s. An excerpt from The Great Texas Wind Rush.
- That’s Right, I Said a Texas Wind Boom Whole Earth
- Educated Opinions Electric Perspectives magazine