Two-thirds (67%) of people in the UK said they would support fracking if it delivered lower energy bills, a new survey has revealed.
Following months of heated debate and protests against fracking plans by Cuadrilla at Balcombe in West Sussex, support for the controversial technique of extracting shale gas still exists.
However, only 16% said they would support fracking near where they live but a third (31%) would be happy for it to take place in someone else’s backyard or overseas (36% ).
The survey of 2,099 adults from market research firm Viewsbank also found 64% would back fracking if it created jobs and if it proved to be important for delivering future energy needs.
That high level of support fades when there’s a hint of “noise and inconvenience for locals” as more than half of consumers said these would make them oppose it.
The results also show only 39% believe fracking will cut household energy bills compared to 42% who think it will cause environmental damage – the main reason cited by those who opposing fracking.
The news comes as Cuadrilla confirmed it is pulling out of one of its potential fracking sites in Lancashire while a report released recently suggested shale gas won’t make the UK self-sufficient for gas and is unlikely to bring down the cost of electricity.
David Black from Viewsbank said: “The fracking debate has been widely aired in the media but it is clear that people do not consider themselves particularly well-informed. Proponents and opponents can both take positives from the research.
“Many remain undecided but there is a definite undercurrent that people are happy to support fracking just as long as it is not in their backyard.”
Incredibly despite all the media fuss, a quarter of people have never heard of the process. The survey also found only 9% of consumers consider themselves “well-informed” about fracking.