Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Saving Utility Payers From Costly "Peak" Energy Charges

A major consideration that will be debated in the Senate’s environment bill tomorrow will be my amendment to ease the burden on electricity rate-payers – you. One of the concerns many of us have had is that during peak times of electric demand, typically during cold snaps and storms the power generated comes from the highest pollution emitting power plants.

When demand runs at its highest we resort to power sources that can quickly meet the demand – these are typically the plants that emit lots of carbon dioxide. Not only that, the top ten percent of hours of peak demand account for a whopping 40 percent of Massachusetts ratepayers total spending on electricity. That’s too costly in every respect.

With my amendment, we have an opportunity to do something that is innovative – it requires the state’s Department Of Energy Resources to produce a standard for all retail electricity suppliers to use a greater percentage of renewable sources to generate peak-energy – a “clean peak standard.”

The clean peak standard will be designed to lower the overall costs to the state’s ratepayers over the period that the standard is in effect and it will facilitate and stimulate producer’s long-term investments in our clean energy infrastructure.