OCTOBER 2018 • LONGISLANDPRESS.COM 21
POINT OF VIEW
ELECTRIC BILL SHOCK
By STEVE LEVY
Director of Common Sense Strategies
Newsday recently published an
editorial promoting windmills off
the Long Island shore. The editorial
centered on whether windmills could
coexist with the livelihood of fishermen.
Ultimately, the editorial concluded
they can, and that the windmills
should be built because it’s good for
the environment. Case closed.
Remarkably, the editorial completely
ignored the enormous potential
costs of the project and its impact
on ratepayers. As a former Suffolk
County executive, I prided myself in
promoting alternative energies, but
never took the unrealistic view that
renewables could replace all of our
fossil fuels within the next few years.
However, politicians, including
New York’s governor, are spouting the
nonsense that we can mandate having
renewables meet 50 percent of our energy
needs in the next decade, without
causing extensive economic hardship.
These politicians have an obligation
to warn ratepayers that their electric
bills are going to skyrocket, and that
wind power could cost anywhere
from four to seven times more than
For instance, windmills off Block
Island had start-up costs of $240/
MWh (per megawatthour), while nationwide
wholesale electricity prices
averaged $20 to $45 per MWh in 2016.
LI’s planned windmills are modeled
after those in Ocean City, Md.,
which cost $132 per megawatt. New
York State’s average cost per megawatt
hour for power is $36.56. If New
York were to provide the same subsidy
Maryland did, it would cost our
ratepayers $392 million annually.
That’s $7 billion over 20 years.
Yet another $7 billion price tag
awaits New York ratepayers because
the governor has, in his quest to meet
his self-imposed renewable goals, demanded
that failing upstate nuclear
power plants (which fall under his
non-fossil fuel label) be kept open
via ratepayer subsidies, even though
they are noncompetitive in today’s
market. His rationale is that we must
save the 1,000 jobs employed by the
plants — that’s $7 million per job.
And, let’s reflect on what Manhattan
Institute’s Robert Bryce
noted about Germany’s experience
in pushing to have 80 percent of its
electricity coming from renewables
by 2050. He cited a German study,
which confirmed that between 2007
and 2018, residential electricity prices
in Germany jumped by 50 percent.
German residential customers
now pay nearly three times the price
of residential electricity in the U.S.
Moreover, Bryce referenced
California, which also mandated 50
percent of the state’s electricity be
sourced from renewables by 2030,
and an Environmental Progress
study, which reported California’s
rates rose more than five times the
rate of electricity prices in the rest of
the U.S. between 2011 and 2017.
Californians now pay about 60
percent more for residential, commercial
and industrial electricity
than residents of other states.
I’m not exactly California Dreamin’
over that, and neither should any
other New York ratepayer.
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