Businesses, energy suppliers and business groups in Massachusetts are complaining that a new state mandate to increase solar power could cost electricity customers up to $250 million more annually, reports the Boston Herald.
In a worst-case-scenario, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources said that the new “solar carve out” rules could cost about $250 million a year, starting in 2015 and remain above that level for five years, before slowly decreasing later in the next decade.
In addition to their biggest complaint about increased electricity costs at a time when the economy is weak and electricity prices are higher in Massachusetts than other parts of the nation, businesses told the Boston Herald that the new mandate also impacts existing energy contracts and sets uncertain quotas for future solar use.
However, Ian Bowles, Gov. Deval Patrick’s secretary of energy and the environment, told the newspaper that the solar mandates will account for less than 1 percent of overall energy costs and usage in Massachusetts, and the monthly price per average homeowner will be about 50 cents to 60 cents over the years.
According to an opinion piece from Cooler Planet, the monthly cost of 50 to 60 cents is a cheap way to grow solar energy and is still less than the total spent on fossil fuel subsidies at $72 billion in 2009, compared to $29 billion spent on renewable energy technologies.
Earlier this year, the state of Massachusetts launched a new financing plan that allows the Commonwealth to fund energy efficient and renewable energy projects at dozens of state buildings that will save millions of dollars in energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.