April 16, 2010

MADISON - The Citizens Utility Board would like to note that the energy efficiency and renewable energy provisions of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, as amended, will result in lower electricity bills than under a business-as-usual approach.

The Public Service Commission recently conducted an analysis of future electricity bills if investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy are increased as proposed in the amended Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA).

Using conservative assumptions, the analysis by the Public Service Commission shows that the costs to meet electricity demand through 2025 are lower by at least $1.4 billion when compared to a status quo reliance on fossil fuels for producing electricity. In addition, the analysis shows that average monthly residential bills would increase more under the status quo reliance on fossil fuels than under the amended CEJA bill until the year 2025, when the status quo is $0.62 per month less, and with the most conservative analysis assumptions.

The PSC's analysis does not include the positive impacts to the Wisconsin economy from increased investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, which other studies conclude will create thousands of jobs in Wisconsin during the next 15 years.

Regarding nuclear power, the original version of CEJA correctly reflected the recommendations of Governor Jim Doyle's Task Force on Global Warming, on which CUB served. Unfortunately, the amended CEJA bill greatly weakens Wisconsin's protections against nuclear power. Should a new nuclear plant be built in Wisconsin, electricity rates would skyrocket to unimaginable levels, and we would be stuck with ever-increasing amounts of radioactive nuclear waste for which there remains no safe method of disposal.

However, the energy efficiency and renewable energy provisions of the amended CEJA bill would reduce electricity bills, as shown by the recent analysis by the Public Service Commission. These provisions would also reduce pollution and create more Wisconsin jobs than a continued reliance on fossil and nuclear fuels for producing most of our electricity.

CUB recommends adoption of the amended CEJA bill, provided the provisions regarding nuclear power are restored to the version found in the original CEJA bills AB 649 and SB 450.

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The Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin is a member-supported, nonprofit organization that advocates for reliable and affordable utility service on behalf of residential, farm, and small business customers of electric, natural gas, and telecommunication utilities before the Legislature, regulatory agencies, and the courts.