Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hidden Costs Lead to Bad Choices

Bruce Mohl, "Green Power Costs Shouldn't Be in the Dark"


GREEN POWER curbs greenhouse gas emissions, reduces our reliance on fossil fuels, and has the potential to create new industries and jobs. But it’s not cheap, and consumers footing the bill for green power have a right to know what it costs....

The distribution charge on customer utility bills is ostensibly the cost of delivering electricity to homes. But it has become a dumping ground for all sorts of green power charges, including the above-market cost of long-term renewable power contracts as well as the tab for utility solar installations, smart grid pilot projects, and other programs subsidizing renewable energy. Even the fees utilities collect for signing green power contracts are rolled into the distribution charge.

The cost of the state’s green initiatives should be separated out and clearly identified, either on customer utility bills or separate bill impact statements. That way consumers can decide if the environmental benefits of green power are worth the extra cost. If state officials want consumers to embrace a green future, they have to be truthful about what that future costs.

Complete article viewable at the Boston Globe.

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