New England News
8:07 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Massachusetts Senate Passes Bill on Energy Costs

The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously passed a bill that aims to curb energy costs while requiring state utilities to buy more renewable power.   WAMC's Tristan O'Neill reports...

The bill passed Thursday requires utilities to enter long-term contracts with renewable power companies for 7 percent of their energy supplies, up from 3 percent.

The companies must competitively bid for the contracts, instead of one-on-one negotiations allowed now. And a state payment to utilities that agree to the deals drops from 4 percent of the contract's annual value to 1 percent.

The bill would also allow more frequent review of utility rate requests by state regulators.

In a statement, Senate President Therese Murray said the bill will help bring down the state's high electricity costs without compromising its commitment to renewable energy.

The bill now moves to the House.

Tristan O'Neill, WAMC News. 

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