Transitioning to a Renewable Energy Future

June 18, 2015
Doug Pope, Pope Energy

In the mid to late 1990s, Massachusetts restructured its electric utility companies in order to create a competitive wholesale electricity market. Restructuring required the electric utility companies to sell all of their generation assets and prohibited them from owning any generation except in very limited circumstances. The end result was that the electric utility companies in Massachusetts no longer generated electricity — they simply delivered electricity to customers and were responsible for maintaining the wires and equipment needed to do so. 

To faciliate restructuring and cover the costs of stranded assets, a Transition Charge was implemented on all ratepayer electricity bills.  While the transition charges are currently trailing off to zero or in some cases are a credit,  the historic level of the charge is instructive.  For example, a customer of mine, located in Eversource territory, was paying $0.00951 per kWh for the transition charge in 2011.  This charge, which did not bankrupt the ratepayer, could now be leveraged to build a modern grid and establish a solar industry within the Commonwealth that will last for a generation.  Let's create a Transition Charge to help pay for the transition to a 100% renewable electricity grid?

I've sent a letter to the Govenor suggesting just that. Read that letter, and learn more about my proposal, here.