AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage released today a new video highlighting Maine’s energy future. The Governor speaks directly to Mainers during a three minute video, titled Energy: Maine’s Economic Barrier, which is displayed on the Office of the Governor website.
Recent reports conclude that millions of dollars are wasted and jobs are on the line due to government mandates, such as Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. A report from London Economics International found that Maine’s RPS could inflate residential customers electricity prices by $12 million per year. The Maine Heritage Policy Center and Beacon Hill Institute also confirms, by 2017, the RPS mandate will add $145 million in overall electricity rates. Both analyses confirm that higher electricity prices result in job loss – some estimates as high as 1000 jobs.
“Federal subsidies are paid for by Maine ratepayers. So we have to find renewable energy sources that do not require subsidies. There are many such as hydro, bio-mass, the pellet industry, heat pumps and natural gas,” Governor LePage comments in the video. “There are renewable energies and other alternative energies that could reduce the cost of energy for Mainers.”
Maine has the 12th highest electricity prices in the United States. Maine’s 2010 average all-sector retail price was 31% above the national average decreasing to 26% above in 2011. In March 2012, the standard offer rate for Residential and Small Commercial customers decreased by approximately one cent per kilowatt hour (kWh) – electricity usage in Maine is billed in terms of cents per kWh of electricity consumed – saving consumers approximately $50 million per year.
With the legislative session approaching, Governor LePage is focused on lowering the price of electricity which will not only save Maine ratepayers millions of dollars per year but will also improve the competitive position to foster economic development and job growth in our State. The LePage Administration supports allowing the marketplace to determine which energy sources are most competitive, which in turn, will lower energy prices to benefit businesses. In order to ensure an affordable, adequate and reliable supply of electricity for Maine residents and to encourage the use of renewable resources the Governor will propose to remove the 100MW cap on renewable energy in the RPS. Currently, qualifying renewable hydropower is limited to the 100MW cap which is artificially increasing electricity rates for Maine consumers and companies.
“We cannot expect to attract good paying jobs if companies can’t afford to do business in Maine. Addressing our high energy rates with common sense reform will allow us to make Maine more competitive with other states and put us in a better position in the global market as well,” Governor LePage said.