in News Departments > Policy Watch
print the content item

A new study predicts that an 80% by 2035 clean energy standard, similar to the one introduced by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., in March, could pass both chambers of Congress if it increases electricity rates by less than 5% on average.

The report, published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change, concluded that in order for the Senate to pass such a policy, the average increase would have to amount to less than $59 per year for the average U.S. household, and for the House of Representatives to pass it, additional costs would have to be below $48 per year.

A recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration found that Bingaman's proposal would not increase electricity rates in the first 10 years following its enactment, but rates would likely climb after that.

However, customers may be willing to pay for that increase, the authors of the study claim. According to the report, which used a representative survey and "randomized treatments on the sources of eligible power generation," the average U.S. citizen is willing to pay an additional $162 per year on his or her electric bills in order to purchase clean energy.

Absent a federal mandate, some utilities are already offering customers the option to choose renewable energy for a slightly higher premium.

Last month, the Maine Public Utilities commission launched Maine Green Power, which gives the state's residents the option to purchase locally produced renewable energy. California-based utility Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is also asking state regulators to approve a similar program that would let customers choose 100% renewable energy for an extra $6 a month.

As it turns out, the study featured in Nature Climate Change is timely. Bingaman's clean energy standard proposal will be the focus of a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing today.


Hse SandyHook
Latest Top Stories

Does Income Determine Who Benefits The Most From Smart Grids?

According to the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, low-income consumers may be at a disadvantage.


Accenture And Siemens Form Smart Grid Joint Venture

OMNETRIC Group will help utilities improve energy efficiency, grid operations and reliability.


Maine Public Utilities Commission: Smart Meters Are Safe

According to a report by the commission, there is no direct link between smart meters and health issues.


Report: Global Solar Deployment Topped Wind In 2013

Research firm Clean Edge finds that solar surpassed wind for the first time since it began tracking international markets in 2000.


HEM Is Key For Utilities To Maintain A Competitive Edge

According to a report by Lux Research, automated meters, electricity rates and renewable energy are crucial to the success of home energy management.

S&C Electric_id176
edf_id