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MPR Energy Poll
February 2001

Poll Methodology | Story

Experts have predicted that Minnesota could find itself with a shortage of electricity in another five years. Based on what you know, how concerned are you about the state's electrical supply? Are you:

Very Concerned 31%
Somewhat Concerned 41%
Concerned Only a Little 15%
Not Concerned at All 11%
Not Sure (Not read) 2%

Which of the following actions should the state take first to begin dealing with any potential shortage:

Encourage the construction of new conventional power plants. 18%
Encourage the construction of alternative energy sources like wind and water power. 64%
Encourage substantial conservation efforts, even if that involved paying more for electricity. 9%
Nothing, state government does not need to be concerned with this. 6%
Not Sure (Not read) 3%


Question:As you may know, both gasoline prices and natural gas prices have been higher recently and California has been in the news because of electricity shortages. I'm interested in whether this has caused you to take any of the following conservation steps. Have you in the past month:

Consciously avoided driving somewhere or shortened a trip to save gasoline?

Yes 44%
No 56%

Turned off lights more consciously to save electricity?

Yes 77%
No 23%

Turned down your home thermostat to conserve heat?

Yes 72%
No 28%


The Mason-Dixon Minnesota Poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. of Washington, D.C. from February 5 through February 6, 2001. A total of 625 registered Minnesota voters were interviewed statewide by telephone. All stated they regularly vote in state elections.

Those interviewed were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers. A cross-section of exchanges were utilized in order to ensure an accurate reflection of the state. Quotas were assigned to reflect voter turn-out by county.

The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus or minus 4 percentage points. This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the "true" figure would fall within that range if the entire population were sampled. The margin for error is higher for any subgroup, such as a regional or gender grouping.