Who Wants to Pay More for Electricity?

solarA new study by the Manhattan Institute confirms that forcing states to purchase renewable energy hurts taxpayers.

Pennsylvania is one of the 29 states (as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) that has a renewable energy standard — Pennsylvania calls it an “Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard.” These mandates force utility companies to produce a percentage of their electricity from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar.

Given that state solar energy is at least 10 times more expensive than electricity from natural gas, it is not surprising that forcing companies to use it drives up costs.

Comparing states with and without these mandates, the study finds:

  • In 2010, residents in states with renewable energy mandates on average experienced electricity prices 31.9 percent higher than in non-mandated states. Similarly, commercial rates were 27.4 percent higher, and industrial rates were 30.7 percent higher.
  • Of the ten states with the highest electricity prices, eight have RPS mandates: Hawaii, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, and California.
  • Of the 10 states with the lowest electricity prices, only two have RPS mandates. They are Washington and Oregon.

This is more evidence that should lead state lawmakers to oppose increasing state solar mandates bill, which would force Pennsylvanian families to pay millions more for electricity.