WASHINGTON, June 7, 2021 – Seventy percent of Americans believe the cybersecurity of the existing electric grid requires more federal funding and should be an important priority in infrastructure legislation now being negotiated by the White House and Congress.

A new poll, released today and commissioned by the electric grid security advocacy group Protect Our Power, reveals 86 percent of Americans believe the nation’s electric power delivery system is vulnerable to cyber or physical attacks from foreign enemies, while 67 percent want to see strict oversight on electric grid components manufactured in nations known to be hostile to the U.S.

Only 16 percent of Americans believe the U.S. government is doing all it should to protect the electric grid from a potential attack.

The Survey Monkey poll of 1,095 Americans was conducted during the first week of June. The findings include these highlights from respondents:

    • 86 percent are concerned that the grid is vulnerable to a serious cyberattack
    • 70 percent say they would feel unsafe in the event of an extended power outage of two weeks or more
    • 66 percent believe their quality of life will suffer with an outage lasting more than seven days
    • 64 percent say they are unprepared for an extended power outage that will last more than two weeks
    • 70 percent say the infrastructure bill should include funding to address this important issue
    • Only 16 percent believe the federal government is doing all they can to prevent an attack on the grid

“Recent cyberattacks on the Colonial Pipeline and JBS food supplier, along with SolarWinds intrusions and other high-profile cases, have significantly elevated public concern about the security of the grid,” said Jim Cunningham, President of Protect Our Power. “Our poll clearly shows that a substantial majority of the American public are aware of and concerned about the vulnerabilities of our electric system, and they expect Congress to act aggressively in addressing this urgent threat.”

Protect Our Power has developed a comprehensive grid security funding proposal that has been provided to key members of Congress, and addresses known, short-term vulnerabilities as identified in independent work done by organizations such as Moody’s as well as two Vermont Law School studies commissioned by Protect Our Power.

The Protect Our Power proposal includes funding for:

    • Under-resourced municipal power companies and rural electric utilities to facilitate needed investment in grid resilience
    • Building a separate and more secure broadband network that controls actual power system operations
    • Helping regional power grid operators to upgrade their systems to prevent, mitigate, and recover from cyberattacks
    • Promote and provide incentives for developing a “Made in America” power industry supply chain
    • Build a product testing center for components to ensure a more secure supply chain

“We look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to forge an infrastructure bill that addresses vulnerabilities in our existing electric grid and makes overall security of the grid a priority,” Cunningham said.

The complete poll results are available on the Protect Our Power website.  The poll’s margin of error is +/- 4 percent.

Protect Our Power is a non-partisan, non-profit group focused on improving electric grid security and has been working with all aspects of the electric power industry since 2016 to build consensus on what needs to be done and how to finance a plan for upgrading our electric grid. The group has worked with key stakeholders, including power companies and federal and state officials, to drive needed physical and regulatory improvements and advocate for a national policy to address this national threat.