State to Match Renewable Energy Purchases

Not only do residents in Massachusetts now have a way to support renewable energy through small, voluntary increases on their electric bills, but now, a state agency will match each of those purchases for further developments.

A powerful new choice is now available to all Massachusetts consumers interested in supporting clean, renewable energy sources, according to Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) Executive Director Mitchell Adams. The MTC, which administers the state’s Renewable Energy Trust, launched the Clean Energy Choice program to offer improved clean electricity options to consumers across the state. This voluntary program enables consumers to pay an additional premium each month to support clean energy sources such as the wind, sun and bioenergy. When citizens opt to pay a premium to support clean energy facilities that qualify under the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, MTC will match those premiums with up to US$2.5 million annually in matching grants. For every dollar of premium a consumer pays, MTC will provide up to one dollar to the consumer’s community for clean energy projects and up to one dollar for low-income citizens. Premiums paid for certain Clean Energy Choice offerings qualify for a federal tax deduction. “This new choice puts the power in the hands of consumers who want to shift to cleaner, renewable-based electricity that benefits our economy and our environment,” said MTC Executive Director Mitchell Adams. “Clean Energy Choice gives consumers the opportunity to do something for their communities, provide support for low-income residents and do something for the greater good.” More than one million Massachusetts Electric and Nantucket Electric customers are again receiving notices with their electricity bills informing them of the companies’ GreenUp program, which gives consumers an opportunity to sign up for clean energy choices. Consumers not served by Massachusetts Electric or Nantucket Electric can make payments directly to a renewable energy supplier. “People can vote with their wallets and send a strong message that we need to harness the wind, sun and other renewable energy sources to achieve greater energy independence, cleaner air and new job creation at Massachusetts energy companies,” said Renewable Energy Trust Director Rob Pratt. MTC and its partners are launching a campaign to inform customers about these new options through radio advertisements, direct mail, stories in newspapers across the state and via the internet.
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