To the Editor: Ms. Martin’s letter on “Stranded Costs” greatly misleads the readers in Eversource’s role in these costs. What is left out is noting Eversource was forced by legislative mandate to purchase a very expensive scrubber.
The scrubber law is unequivocal about what was required: “I. The owner shall install and have operational scrubber technology to control mercury emissions at Merrimack Units 1 and 2 no later than July 1, 2013.” The mandated scrubber was far more expensive than an alternative Eversource had offered but was refused by the state’s environmental department and the legislature.
When divestiture was forced upon Eversource, it had not recovered this cost. In the divestiture legislation, Eversource was once again forced to accept a more than $25 million loss after being mandated to construct the scrubber, and then allowed to recover the remaining costs as stranded costs at great expense to the ratepayers. Liberty and Unitil did not have the burden of legislative mandate to bear on their stranded costs, so comparisons to them are irrelevant.
This is not the only legislative mandate that raises the costs of electric bills. State programs such as RPS, RGGI, Net Metering, EERS, and Biomass plant subsidies all add to the bill with no benefit to the electric utilities.
As for putting more resources into efficiency programs, that is already being done, but without reliable infrastructure. I wonder if the readers would take comfort in having an energy efficient home while sitting in the dark.
Rep. DOUG THOMAS