Buyers should pick renewable energy

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 10:32AM
Buyers should pick renewable energy

To the editor,

The committee report on 2017 Senate Bill 125 “(New Title) establishing a committee to study transmission, distribution, generation, and other costs in the state’s electricity system” can be downloaded at gencourt.state.nh.us/statstudcomm/reports/1337.pdf

The most startling conclusion is in the Sept. 12, 2017, Public Utility Commission (PUC) staff presentation: “NH’s Average Industrial Rate would have fallen but for a substantial Increase in Transmission and Distribution Costs.”

Key results (2005 compared to 2017):

18 percent decrease in monthly bill.

Energy component decreased by 46 percent.

Transmission component increased by 555 percent.

Distribution component increased by 67 percent.

Residential ratepayers did not fare so well. They saw similar increases in transmission and distribution costs, but the energy component didn’t decrease. The main reason for this is that while nearly 90 percent of industrial customers have switched to competitive suppliers, only about 20 percent of Residential customers have switched.

Key results:

36 percent increase in monthly bill.

Energy component barely changed

“Other” charges comprise 4 percent of industrial customer bills and include the Systems Benefit Charge and RGGI contributions. “Other charges” are clearly not the source of the pricing problem.

I purchase 100 percent renewable certificate covered electricity from a competitive supplier for 2 cents less per kilowatt hour than a default utility customer.

There are some limitations on who can make the switch. If you’re participating in a utility “Heat Smart” program or if you receive bill assistance through the Electric Assistance Program (EAP), you must stay with your utility.

I strongly encourage those who can make the switch to a competitive supplier to visit the PUC website at puc.nh.gov/ceps/shop.aspx to shop for a supplier. If possible, please pick a supplier that offers a 100 percent renewable energy option. Imagine how quickly we could transform our electric grid if customers created market demand for renewable energy instead of having the government mandate it!

Patricia A. Martin