Wired In

Cost Recovery Approach for the Mystic Plants Will Jeopardize Retail Competition

By Cynthia A. Arcate 12 September, 2018
The fuel security controversy in New England, particularly as it relates to the availability of natural gas in the winter, escalated dramatically with the issuance of the ISO New England fuel security study, which was followed quickly by Exelon’s announcement that it intends to shut down its Mystic units in Everett unless it receives a subsidy from ISO-NE.[1] Despite credible challenges to the study, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) quickly accepted the impact of the Mystic shutdown as a

20 Years and a Renewed Sense of Purpose

By Cynthia A. Arcate 11 June, 2018
Twenty years ago, PowerOptions launched its mission to give Massachusetts nonprofits the opportunity to purchase their electricity and natural gas as part of what is now the largest energy-buying group in the region. Then as now, the contract offered terms that are the best in the industry at no added cost to the customer. In fact, many nonprofits saw substantial savings. Robert Ciolek, then-Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority (HEFA), saw an opportunity to provide added

Greenhouse Reduction Goal Shouldn’t Drive Wrong Decision on Clean Energy Deal

By Cynthia A. Arcate 16 January, 2018
The cold weather over the last few weeks has resulted in a significant amount of electricity being generated by coal and oil in New England. But, on an annual basis, the amount of oil- and coal-generated electricity will still be about 1% or less of all of the generation in the region. It’s important to keep that fact in perspective, especially as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ clean energy solicitation is awarded. The Boston Globe editorial last week implied that it

Trickle-Down Benefits of Tax Plan Start with Reducing Energy Prices for Consumers

By Cynthia A. Arcate 22 December, 2017
While there is much debate about whether the GOP tax plan will, in fact, provide economic benefits for employees and consumers in America, one clear benefit should be captured immediately: the reduction in utility rates from the reduction in the corporate income tax rate. Utilities pay taxes like any other corporation, and they will see the reduction immediately. Yet their rates are based on costs that include the higher income tax rate. The corporate rate reduction from 35 percent to