Solar Use Will Push Energy Costs Up in Massachusetts

From Boston Globe

By Jay Fitzgerald

Massachusetts utility customers could get hit with more than $1 billion in higher electricity bills over the next two decades under Governor Deval Patrick’s plan to dramatically expand solar power in the state, government and industry officials said Tuesday.

A top state official said that the average residential customer would pay $1 to $1.50 more a month under the Patrick plan, which aims to cut air pollution and create more jobs in the growing solar energy industry.

In a filing with state regulators last month, Northeast Utilities System, which serves 1.3 million customers in the state, contended Patrick’s plan to quadruple the amount of solar power in use in Massachusetts would lead to consumers paying “excess costs” of more than $1 billion because of how they would be forced to buy the electricity.

The result, Northeast said, is that Massachusetts consumers would pay two to three times as much for solar power as ratepayers in neighboring Connecticut, where the company also provides electric service.

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