Boston Herald

Study questions green policy impacts on energy costs

- By Grace Zokovitch gzokovitch@bostonhera­

Renewable energy policies in New England are driving up energy costs in the region, according to a report by the Massachuse­tts Fiscal Alliance released Wednesday.

“Even if you support 100% renewable energy, this path that we’re going down, where we’re adding more regulation­s on top of other regulation­s, is driving up costs,” said Paul Craney, spokespers­on for Massachuse­tts Fiscal Alliance, at a virtual press conference announcing the report Wednesday morning.

The report found that from 2008 to 2020 the region saw an 11.4% drop in annual energy demand but over the period the average cost per kilowatt hour for residents has risen 20% — a trend, Craney said, “smacks in the face of common sense.”

The report attributes this rise to renewable energy regulation­s, noting the six New England state imposes 26 energy mandate programs on the companies that supply the region. Massachuse­tts requires compliance with nine energy programs, the report states.

“The annual cost of Massachuse­tts renewable energy policies has quadrupled in 10 years from $250 million in 2011 to $1 billion in 2020,” the report states, noting the cumulative cost of the policies was $6 billion across the period.

Maria Hardiman, spokespers­on for the Executive Office of Energy & Environmen­tal Affairs, noted the environmen­tal policies are necessary.

“The transition to clean energy is critical to ensure our residents and businesses no longer have to rely on costly and volatile fossil fuels,” said Hardiman in response to the study. “Stable, affordable clean energy is critical to the economic vitality of Massachuse­tts.”

Craney argued “ratepayers must be the number one priority if we want to be competitiv­e in Massachuse­tts and New England.”

Mass Fiscal called several business people to speak in support of the study, who outlined the higher costs for their sectors.

“The prices that we’re looking at are 60% higher than we paid three years ago,” said Jeffrey Sheehy, owner of perlite and vermiculit­e processing company Whittermor­e Company in Lawrence. “It’s not sustainabl­e for my business, to be honest with you.”

Speakers argued the cost of the policies need to be reexamined.

“It’s one thing to say if we’re going to achieve 20% wind power by 2030, or 100% renewables by 2050, or whatever number or slogan that you’re going to use to to base your energy policy,” said Lisa Linowes, an energy policy researcher who authored the report. “There is a reality to those policies, to those slogan-oriented policies that needs to be understood.”

 ?? ?? A report by Mass Fiscal Alliance released Wednesday argued that renewable policies across New England are driving up energy costs.
A report by Mass Fiscal Alliance released Wednesday argued that renewable policies across New England are driving up energy costs.

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