Distributed Generation Could Lower Electricity Rates

Date: 26 May 2011 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Some nice news from Connecticut, where the state’s commitment to increasing distributed generation is increasing on-site generation and helping hold rates down:

Distributed generation is becoming more popular in the state and throughout New England, especially among businesses foreseeing the financial and environmental benefits of decreasing their reliance on the electric utilities.

As a result, the regional grid will be comprised of fewer large commercial ratepayers and more small business and residential ratepayers. The long-term effect will dampen rates, said Phil Dukes, spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control.

A business generating its own power decreases the overall need for electricity on the New England power system. When the peak load drops, the regional system needs less electricity and eliminates its use of the most expensive power plants. These peaker plants tend to run inefficiently and burn less environmentally-friendly fuel, Dukes said.

“There is certainly more upside than downside to distributed generation,” Dukes said. “That is why the state has invested so heavily in it.” [emphasis added]

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John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power.