Zapped: Rhode Island Gets Not One, But Two, Artificial Rate Hikes

… both in today’s Providence Journal; both courtesy a misguided General Assembly.
One hike for the poor.

The Henry Shelton Act, signed into law earlier this month by Governor Chafee, creates a new state fund to help low-income families pay for their heating and electric bills, authorizing the state to develop a new surcharge for utility ratepayers of no more than $20 a year –– or about $1.66 a month. …
Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, said that for many needy Rhode Islanders, the current utility-bill system was simply “not working.” Households previously faced utility shutoffs if they had any outstanding debt — no matter how small, according to lawmakers.

Another hike for the planet.

When the Rhode Island Supreme Court issued a ruling earlier this month upholding a long-term contract for the sale of power from Deepwater Wind’s proposed wind farm off Block Island, it was a green light for the company to resume work on the project. …
Because developing offshore wind power is expensive — Deepwater’s proposal, with the transmission cable included, will cost about $250 million and, because no similar projects have been built in the United States yet, such wind farms are considered a huge risk to investors and lenders.
But Deepwater’s contract with National Grid guarantees a source of income for 20 years, with a selling price that starts at up to 24.4 cents per kilowatt-hour. With the deal now in place, a project that was once uncertain becomes something much more attractive to banks and other financial institutions.

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11 years ago

“starts at up to 24.4 cents per kilowatt-hour”
By my math, that could be from 0 cents to 24.4 cents.

11 years ago

Can I claim this “charitable” deduction on my taxes?

11 years ago

So I pay for their heat and electricity while they blow $50 a week on cigarettes?

11 years ago

Poor people would never waste money. Only rich people making over 40k waste money on yachts and mansions. They can afford to pay for 80-degree subsidized apartments all winter.
I am so sorry I left Rhode Island and will be unwilling to take part in this grand social experiment, which has never, ever been tried before.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Back around 2004 I was working at Lincoln Park and Shelton had led a protest at the PUC that day.
A bunch of women who had been protesting came into the place,still wearing their buttons(how else could one know?)-many of which said “Acorn”,and were playing the mchines,smoking,and sucking down overpriced Dunkin’Donuts coffee.
Of course they didn’t bother paying heat/electric bills.They depend on foolish do-gooders like Shelton and functional idiots like Chafee to get the rest of us to pay those ills for them.

11 years ago

Why stop there? Why not add a fee on to my mortgage to help people struggling with theirs? My water bill, my trips to Stop & Shop, my car payment, my cable bill, my phone bill, my car repairs, my child care services. Why the special focus on electric?

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