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Energy efficiency? I don’t think so  

Credit:  Daily News, www.newburyportnews.com 26 July 2010 ~~

Have you looked at your electric bill lately? Everyone wants to be “green,” but this is too much.

Like many, I believe in taking care of our earth, doing my part. However, government initiatives should not be a hidden tax on utility bills.

I recognize companies are not going to bear the costs of programs they are forced to administer, but making them the tax collector is wrong. Scant details for these charges are out of sight on the back pages and in fine print of our bills and convolute what we are paying for.

“Renewable Energy Charge” – to fund initiatives for communicating the benefits of renewable energy and fostering formation, growth, expansion and retention of renewable energy and related enterprises.

Sounded good until I saw the millions in money being distributed (some to inefficient and inappropriate projects) through Renewable Energy Trust-Mass. Technology Collaborative, now the Clean Energy Council. It concerns me that MTC board members are representatives of National Grid, NStar and power companies and wonder if any are from “retention” companies. I wonder what the administration of this quasi-government organization costs? The words utilities, lights, offices, paper, waste, travel, salaries, etc. come to mind. You can view the annual reports at http://www.masstech.org/AgencyOverview/report.htm.

Secondly, now there is an “Energy Efficiency Charge” on my bill – to pay the cost of energy-efficiency program services offered by the company. Perhaps this replaced the charge for demand side management programs offered by the company, but it did so at a rate more than double.

Does that mean I pay for energy audits of others or fliers for mercury compact fluorescent bulbs? Or what about those home energy reports? Can it really be green to waste such energy to tell you that you are or aren’t energy-efficient? Why a separate wasteful mailing? Well, they obviously have the money to do so, and it comes from you.

I don’t know whether utilities make money off these added charges, but I do know that funds collected are paying for energy waste in Massachusetts. Regardless of all good intentions, these costs impact the environment and our pocketbooks.

Patty Spalding

Newburyport

Source:  Daily News, www.newburyportnews.com 26 July 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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