Legislature's use of Renewable Energy Fund called 'bait and switch'
When the surplus was revealed in the fund's annual report last October, it was obviously low-hanging fruit for lawmakers trying to balance the state budget with limited options for new revenue. Asked about the likelihood of raiding the fund in May, Gov. Maggie Hassan said the state had to confront a variety of tough choices, especially if it was to avoid a Senate-proposed $50 million cut in state personnel costs.
The statute creating the renewable-energy program clearly states that the funds collected cannot be used for any other purpose, but the Legislature works around those restrictions by including this phrase when redirecting money from a dedicated fund: "notwithstanding any provision of the law to the contrary."
Ratepayers don't see a separate line for renewable-energy compliance on their electric bills. It's blended into the energy supply rate.
Epsen said lawmakers have made a practice of raiding dedicated funds to avoid accountability for tax increases.
The Renewable Energy Rebate program provides partial funding or rebates for residential and commercial installations, including wood-pellet boilers and solar panel arrays for electricity or hot water.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Peterborough OKs state's largest solar array project - 0
- Settlement reached between Groton Wind and state AG's office - 1
- Peterborough makes plans for state's largest solar array - 0
- Alexandria won't approve permit for wind-power developer - 0
- Windham officials to discuss development - 0
- AMC asking N.E. governors to stop Northern Pass lines - 25
- Alternative routes being laid out for gas pipeline expansion - 1
- NH gas pipeline expansion pushed - 13
- PSNH discount carries a cost: Loyal customers pay more, those who switch offered lower rate - 7
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Real estate transfer tax proposal pulled off table - 0
- Protesting information: Picket sign o' the times - 0
- Another View -- Mike Biundo: Where is Shaheen's gas price outrage now? - 0
- Seabrook's message: No one above the law here - 0
- Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: A humbling — and inspiring — event - 0
- Developer says proposed LNG plant in Groveton 'on hold' - 0
- Motivation Matters: 'Giving 110 percent' says more than you think - 0
- Know the Law: Do I need a prenup? - 0
- Life's just a great big game for Dan Yarrington - 0
Win tickets to see Cher's D2K Tour
E-cigarettes find a market in NH
Protesting workers nix Market Basket amnesty
Faith and freedom; a near-martyr comes to NH
Powerboat hits canoe on Winnipesaukee