New Poll: Money off energy bills increases support for shale as pensioners cut spending to cover energy costs

23 May 2022

New polling by YouGov has revealed renewed support for shale gas extraction as the cost of living crisis bites.

While YouGov tracking polling has found that just 19% of British adults say that Britain should extract shale gas, today’s new poll found that 29% of respondents were in favour when asked about shale gas extraction in their local area.

If local shale gas production meant a reduction in bills for people in the community, then support grew even more. Excluding don’t knows, more than half of British adults (53%) would support the plan, including:

  •       70% of Conservative voters in 2019.
  •               Over half of adults (58%) in the north of England. 
  •                65% of ‘leave’ voters.

Support for fracking amongst C2DE respondents also increased by 14%, compared to when there are no financial incentives.

The data also lays bare the huge changes Brits are being forced to make in the face of the cost-of-living crisis, with two thirds of people (67%) already cutting back, or anticipating having to cut back, just to afford their energy bills:

  •        66% of adults aged 65 and over have already made or are planning to make cuts to their spending before the scheduled price cap rise in October. 
  •       Almost three quarters (74%) between 25 and 64 have already made or were expecting to cut other expenditure in the coming months.


Charles McAllister, Director of Policy, Government and Public Affairs at industry body UKOOG (United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas) said This latest data makes clear the stark challenge facing us all, but also the appetite for solutions to it. With raises to the price cap coming thick and fast, this data shows that the Prime Minister needs to address the rising cost of living before the General Election, or risk millions falling into fuel poverty.

“The Government should be looking at all options to reduce sky high energy bills. The UK’ s abundant onshore gas resources can be rapidly developed, helping to alleviate the risk of a persistent cost-of-living crisis, whilst helping meet net zero targets and creating well paid and skilled local jobs in former industrial communities. Receiving a cash share of revenues from UK shale production clearly goes a long way to win community support, a local benefit not available by drifting into a heavily import reliant economy. A continuation of the fingers crossed approach to UK natural gas supply would be geopolitically, environmentally, and economically irresponsible.”


McAllister added: “Our members stand ready to help reduce consumers’ bills and address the energy crisis. Demand for a timely and resilient solution to the problem of rising energy prices has clearly never been higher. Government needs to review the case for shale fairly, and logically allow UKOOG members to help meet this demand for cheaper, lower carbon British energy.”


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All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,707 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5th - 6th May 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).


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