May 7, 2010

Boston Globe on Cape Wind

The Boston Globe ran an article on Cape Wind this morning with the headline 

This is just the sort of attention grabbing headline that leaves people with the false impression that investing in clean energy is going to cost them a lot of money.

Let's put the proposed cost increases from Cape Wind and the cost increases from current energy providers in perspective. 

According to reports from National Grid, Cape Wind will add up to $1.59 to the average customer's monthly bill by 2013. So that works out to a $0.53 increase in a typical monthly bill per year over the next 3 years.

Let's compare that rate of increase to the rate of increase we are seeing with our current electricity bills.

I reviewed the rate increases I've seen on my NSTAR bill over the last year. Our electricity price has gone up 3.4 cents per kilowatt-hour from Mar 2009 to Mar 2010. For the typical consumer quoted above, that works out to an increase of $17 per month and that is just in 1 year.

So we should be comparing a $0.53 increase in the average customers monthly bill for clean energy versus an energy price increase of $17 per month that we've seen in the last year from our current energy providers. 

That makes it look like the proposed Cape Wind costs will be lost in the noise of the increasing energy costs from our current energy providers.

Buried at the end of the article is the key point - "In general, fossil fuels are becoming more expensive over time and will continue to do so, and wind... will come down over time."
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