Solar power use to increase utility bills

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – State officials say you’ll be noticing higher electricity bills in the coming years.

State Energy officials say you’ll see up to $1.50 extra on your utility bill in the next decade.

This is all thanks to a plan spearheaded by Governor Deval Patrick to increase the amount of solar energy produced in the state.  Currently, the state produces 400 megawatts of solar power.  The administration’s goal is to produce 1,600 megawatts by 2020.  State officials say in exchange for higher bills, residents would benefit from cleaner and more jobs.

“I think it’s a great idea. Personally I pay a little extra on my bill anyway to have them offset it with renewable sources,” Robby Roiter of Northampton said.

Michael Root of Easthampton said, “I feel very strongly in clean energy and I wouldn’t mind paying extra for that.  I definitely want to see us improve the treatment of our environment.”

Major utilities are skeptical of Patrick’s plan saying it lead to added costs because it will force them to buy power from large and small producers.

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