Florida Business Leaders Concur: Clean and Renewable Energy is the Way Forward

Residents of the Sunshine State favor energy choice

June 21, 2018
Sonia Diaz, (305) 441-1272, sonia@balserapr.com
Cristina Mestre, (212) 616-1268, cmestre@edf.org

(MIAMI, FL) – A new Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) survey found that a vast majority of Floridians believe that access to clean and renewable energy for businesses and homes is critical for the future of the state and will help mitigate the effects of climate change. Business leaders and residents polled for the survey also eagerly noted a growing need to create opportunities that will put Florida on the path towards more energy choice.
“Floridians understand that as the fourth largest economy in the country and ground zero for climate change, their state must drive innovative and common sense solutions for clean and renewable energy resources”, said Jake Hiller, manager with EDF+Business. “Business leaders are uniquely positioned to steer this effort because the approach they take towards development today will set the bar for how we build environmentally sound and sustainable communities tomorrow.”  
The poll surveyed 1200 likely midterm election voters in South Florida and the I-4 corridor on their attitudes and perceptions towards clean and renewable energy. The results showed:

  • Two-thirds of business owners believe that adopting clean and renewable energy practices is a prudent economic decision for their business and is also the right thing to do. 
  • A large majority of business owners and other residents believe that adopting energy efficient practices is important, with more than two-thirds already taking steps towards becoming more energy efficient in their homes and their businesses.
  • More than half of those polled are considering installing solar energy in their homes and/or businesses.
  • By double-digit margins, people believe that the business community is poised to lead on the issue of clean energy.
“As we face increasing threats from climate change and sea level rise, particularly in South Florida, it is imperative that the business community accelerates its collective response and begins to focus on innovation that brings forth energy independence while allowing us to adapt and mitigate the effects of sea level rise,” said Terra Group president and co-founder David Martin. “We will need to find a way to fund resilience infrastructure projects, including advancing more clean and renewable energy solutions, if we are serious about being competitive and sustainable as a region.”
In addition to these findings, voters agreed that there is a strong need for action on climate change and that clean and renewable energy can play an important role in helping to mitigate the increasing threats from climate change in the State of Florida.
“As an emerging technology leader of the United States, Orlando is quickly becoming a hub of innovation for tech start-ups, autonomous vehicle research and several other bleeding-edge technologies,” said esaSolar CEO Lindsay Latre. “Each year, the regional market demand increases for energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions. However, businesses that are ready to make a commitment to energy independence are often inhibited by a state that lacks support for Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards, third party financing mechanisms and local incentives. The result is a stagnant growth to an otherwise thriving clean energy economy across the United States.”
The poll results are reflective of similar trends nationwide. A recent Deloitte study on energy management and consumption views from businesses showed that business leaders are taking the lead to address climate change and are reviewing or changing their energy management policies as a consequence. Companies in that survey noted that they are developing new ways of reducing and managing their energy consumption levels, while expanding or integrating renewable energy sources into their operations, as a response to consumer demand for cleaner energy.  

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Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on our EDF+Business blog, EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.