Support legislation to reduce energy costs

Published: 02-09-2023 6:06 PM

State Sen. Jo Comerford and state Rep. Natalie Blais are right to point out that Massachusetts ratepayers have been hammered by increased energy costs this winter. “Natural” gas costs have soared because of the war in Ukraine. But it didn’t need to be this bad. Energy companies and state regulators didn’t diversify our energy sources, and we are now paying the price. Electricity generated from solar panels and wind and stored in batteries is competitive or even less expensive than fossil gas. Plus, the price of energy from the sun doesn’t go up and down because of events like wars. The transition to renewables, efficiency, and storage is necessary for both a stable climate and stable prices.

Comerford and Blais have introduced legislation that will help Massachusetts residents by extending low-income assistance programs and preventing state regulators from allowing utilities to automatically increase rates and profits. Their RESPECT Act addresses the root causes of the problem by making sure that decisions about our energy future are made for our benefit and are in line with state goals for affordability and the transition to non-polluting energy sources. Energy companies could then focus on what they do best — providing Massachusetts ratepayers with reliable energy. Please write or call your legislators and ask them to support SD313/H495 and SD863/H1696 and to fund the LIHEAP assistance program through the winter.

Mary Jane Else

South Hadley

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