Report Claims New England Electricity Consumers Overpaid By Billions

New Hampshire Public Radio
October 17, 2017

Anthony Buxton discusses the legitimacy of an Environmental Defense Fund report that says New England electricity customers paid billions of dollars more than necessary over a period of three years. 

An Excerpt

New England electricity consumers paid billions of dollars more than necessary over a three-year period, according to a national environmental group. But some observers are skeptical, while one utility named in the report is calling it an outright fabrication.

The Environmental Defense Fund report's findings stem from the complicated dynamics of gas and electricity markets.

It says that on hundreds of occasions, gas distributors Avangrid and Eversource reserved a certain amount of natural gas pipeline capacity and then at the very end of the day, decided not to use it. The lead author, Vanderbilt University economist Matthew Zaragoza-Watkins, says that "artificially" constricted supplies on cold days when natural gas was in high demand, particularly during the polar vortex four winters ago.

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