CLAIM: State Renewable Portfolio Standards are job-killing government mandates that offer no economic benefits and cause skyrocketing electricity rates.
RPS policies are currently driving over 1/3 of new renewable energy development across America in a cost-competitive manner that protects American consumers. Repealing these policies could risk billions in private investment and threaten tens of thousands of jobs in 29 states plus the District of Columbia.
• RPS mandates have carefully crafted “cost-caps” to protect consumers from rate spikes and unfair utility bills. In Kansas, this cap is 1% on the rate impact of compliance. Oregon actually has two cost-protection mechanisms: a so-called “alternative compliance payment” and a 4% cap on compliance costs per compliance year. Both of these limitations help ensure that adding renewable resources will not drive up electrical bills. (Source: DSIRE Database, http://bit.ly/XDvdVb)
• RPS mandates drive in-state economic growth. Since Montana’s RPS was implemented, the state has seen more than $1.6 billion of capital investment in renewable energy, the addition of 1,500 high-paying construction jobs, 100 more permanent jobs, and 650 megawatts of newly installed renewable energy. (Source: Montana Department of Commerce, http://1.usa.gov/WMCViq)
• RPS mandates have driven the generation of 1/3 of current U.S. non-hydro renewable electricity in 2011 – equal to 133,000 GWh – while attracting over $100 billion in private investment across the country . (Source: U.S. Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance, http://bit.ly/PzW1Eq)
• The Texas RPS has been so successful that its 10-year goal was met in just over six years. According to the Texas State Energy Conservation Office, “more megawatts of renewable energy came on-line as a result of the RPS program than in the past 100 years.” (Source: Texas State Energy Conservation Office, http://bit.ly/3W9Xsj)
• RPS mandates include incentives to keep economic benefits in state, providing jobs and household income for the consumers themselves. For renewable electricity generated in Kansas, utilities are awarded an additional 10% credit toward their requirements, thus incentivizing utilities to keep the renewable projects, and the economic benefits that they create, within the state. (Source: Polsinelli Shughart, http://bit.ly/15hZwYE)
• RTI International estimates that the North Carolina Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS) will lower monthly electrical bills. “For a typical North Carolina residential customer, the monthly savings amount to almost $0.50 in 2012 and more than $1.00 by 2024.” (Source: North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, http://bit.ly/YrRqr6)
• In North Carolina, renewable energy has decreased electricity rates and rates are lower than they would be without renewable energy , according to a 2013 study conducted by RTI International. “Over the 20-year period since the start of clean energy policies in North Carolina, rates are expected to be lower than they would have been had the state continued to only use existing, conventional generation sources.” (Source: North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, http://bit.ly/YrRqr6)
• Michigan’s Public Service Commission has concluded that its current RPS law – 10% by 2015 – is saving money for energy customers. “The Commission determined that new coal plants would cost ratepayers about 13.3 cents per kilowatt hour. But the new renewable plants under contract were coming in at about 9.1 cents per kilowatt hour.” (Source: Michigan PUC, http://1.usa.gov/xpHFHb)
• Electricity costs are dropping in California as well. The California Public Utilities Commission has concluded, “Based on the current 2011 RPS Solicitation, costs are decreasing, making renewable energy more competitive with fossil fuels.” (Source: California PUC, http://1.usa.gov/zzLTpO)
• In Kansas, all utility companies currently have enough renewable generation in their portfolios to satisfy the RPS through 2015, with most companies possessing far more renewable generation than is required. Additionally, most Kansas utilities currently have more than enough renewable generation in their portfolios to satisfy the 15% threshold that will take effect from 2016 through 2019, with only a small amount of additional renewable generation required for Westar and Midwest utility companies. (Source: Polsinelli Shughart, http://bit.ly/15hZwYE)
• The Arizona Public Service, the largest electric utility in Arizona, and the highest tax payer in the state anticipates exceeding Arizona RPS requirements by 2015. APS is also expecting to exceed the additional renewable energy/savings requirement of an agreement approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission to acquire new renewable energy resources with annual generation or savings of 1,700,000 MWh, to be in-service by December 31, 2015. (Source: APS, http://bit.ly/Y3F5eD)
• A modest, two year snapshot (2009-10) of rate impacts for RPS mandates reveals that, consumer rate impacts are less than 2% or $1.60 on a $80 electricity bill for most states. (Source: Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, http://bit.ly/TIxKQ5)
• Businesses continue to succeed in real-life RPS scenarios. With 1.6 million customers, Xcel is Colorado’s largest investor-owned electric utility, and currently has enough renewable energy to meet the state’s renewable portfolio standard for 15 years. (Source: Denver Post, http://bit.ly/ZOCdV5)