Massachusetts turning to renewable electricity even without utility programs

Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 09:02 AM
posted by rene5432

Electricity rates from green energy sources have fallen steadily around the country over recent years, but most people understand that renewable electricity still comes at a bit of a premium.

The Boston Globe reports that a prominent renewable electricity program run by Massachusetts utility company NStar has largely failed to live up to expectations, with participation dropping as many people were forced to tighten their belts.

Because of the dramatic drop in natural gas prices, lower electricity rates have made the wind-power-based program seem less appealing.

But in a letter to the Globe, Peter Rothstein, the president of the New England Clean Energy Council, explained that this policy really only represents a small part of the state's move toward renewable electricity.

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency reports that Massachusetts already requires utility companies and electricity providers to draw at least 7 percent of their energy from renewable sources under the state's renewable portfolio standard.

While few people have chosen to pay more for the renewable electricity through NStar, all of their customers are getting some mix of wind energy because the utility has already paid a contract with the wind farms that provide this energy.

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