(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) (WGGB)–When it comes to electricity costs, Massachusetts ranks 7th highest in the country.
The average electric rate in Massachusetts is now more than 14 cents per kilowatt hour, well above the national average of 10 cents according to a senate legislative committee.
The state senate bill is aimed at controlling those electricity costs while continuing to promote growth in renewable power sources according to Westfield State Senator Michael Knapik,”Massachusetts is a high cost energy state, not leading the nation anymore but the concern as we move forward especially with renewable energy is that some of the arrangements being made by state government and others don’t require competitive bidding on those renewable energy sources,” says Knapik.
The measure endorsed last week by a legislative committee addresses that issue by requiring competitive bidding for those long term-renewable energy contracts and increases the percentage of so called green power that utilities must purchase.
Backers of the bill also say it will end sweetheart deals by reducing from 4 percent to one percent the guaranteed investment return that utilities receive from renewable energy contracts.
The legislation also calls for more frequent rate reviews by state regulators and if necessary would spread out rate increases over longer periods of time.
A senate vote on the bill is scheduled for Thursday on Beacon Hill.