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The costs of renewable energy

Income taxes or taxes on electric bills – what’s the difference? They both take money from people.

When ratepayers are asked to voluntarily cough up cash for renewable energy, such as wind, they don’t. I don’t know anyone who self-imposes extra payments to an ever-rising electric bill. Most people will consider decreasing their power usage, often foregoing some comfort.

Consider some numbers:

From tax lawyer Keith Martin, “Tax equity accounts currently for 50 to 60 percent of the capital cost of a typical wind farm …” What that means is somebody very rich has erased their tax obligation by the amount spent on a wind facility, leaving the public responsible for that loss of tax revenue.

According to the governor’s Energy Office, Maine electric customers paid $70 million for one tax assessed on electric bills between 2011-2015 for renewable energy facilities.

According to the RGGI website, $64.8 million was paid for a carbon tax. Sure they tell the public the plants that produce carbon pay this tax as they make electricity. But plants don’t pay taxes – they pass that expense on to the customers. Again, a renewable energy promotion.

Finally, $80.6 million dollars for Efficiency Maine, according to their latest triennial plan, a tax that transfers the public’s money to those who already have the money to spend to increase their energy efficiency. We are told this lowers electric costs for everyone. Must be why rates are going up 18 percent.

Dan McKay, Dixfield