Truth about electric rates
November 22. 2017 1:01AM
To the Editor: On Nov. 13, the Koch Brothers’ funded Americans for Prosperity sponsored a policy forum on energy, which I attended. Your report failed to note that no questions were allowed, very unusual for a New Hampshire event.
In addition, the entire premise of the forum was based on an entrenched myth — that New Hampshire has sky-high electricity prices. The truth is that New Hampshire prices are slightly below the New England average, and only moderately higher than the national average. It is true that New Hampshire will never be able to match prices in the Southeast, which has lots of hydro through the TVA, a government agency that pays no taxes or dividends. The same is true for the Pacific Northwest.
The policy recommendations that New Hampshire should exit RGGI, end support for renewables, and rebate all proceeds from these programs to customers, are classically penny-wise and pound foolish. Yes, this could result in short-term and tiny reductions in bills, but at the cost of failing to achieve meaningful cost savings.
Real savings are achievable only by concentrating on bills, rather than rates. And the best way to lower bills is to reduce the number of kilowatt hours used. The cheapest and best way to do this is through maximizing all cost-effective energy efficiency. And that is best done by helping customers buy new, more efficient refrigerators or air conditioners, etc., through using RGGI proceeds to make these investments possible.
REP. BOB BACKUS