TO: RI Businesses and Commercial Rate Utility Customers:
Over the past 5 years, Rhode Island's "average electrical retail rate" have flip flopped as THE highest to 5th highest in the continental US, commercial rates were also in the top five, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This is a dubious distinction!
The energy landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years. The availability of inexpensive and plentiful domestically produced natural gas has provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to control our energy future. In New England, we no longer need to be dependent on oil or coal for electricity generation. Emissions from electric generating plants is decreasing significantly as oil and coal are less relied upon. Yet electricity prices stay high and are increasing, because of the lack of pipelines to get natural gas to the northeast and the delivery service part of your electric bill is increasing substantially. This is something that the State of RI can influence through its energy policy and utility regulation. Advocating for more gas to the northeast is a major focus of TEC-RI.
How will TEC-RI help accomplish this? Through education, communication and being part of the conversation with key decision makers and policy makers in the state. We have gained a voice for our members’ energy interests by obtaining appointments to six state energy and business policy committees that make recommendations and decisions on energy policy and program direction. These committees address statewide energy policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy and low income energy programs and policy as well as distributed generation. We are also concentrating on the overall improvement of business in the state and energy costs are part of that conversation. Our membership on these committees makes sure that our ideas and concerns are part of the discussion. We also coordinate and communicate with the Governor’s Office, policy offices of the Rhode Island State Senate and House of Representatives, the Public Utilities Commission, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, Commerce RI and the U.S. Congressional delegation.
Inexpensive and plentiful domestic natural gas is now available to provide cleaner and lower cost electricity for decades to come if we have the right State and regional energy policy in place. The New England States need to act collaboratively to make that happen.
Membership in TEC-RI can help advance these goals by enabling commercial, industrial and institutional energy customers to deliver the message to State policy makers and decision makers. Becoming a member of TEC-RI shows them that these issues matter to you and the business community. Associate membership is also now available to energy industry organizations and individuals who want to show their support of our mission and positions, as well as get to know our members.
Please fill out an application to join TEC-RI. Membership information is available on our website, www.tecri.org. If you wish to contact me I can be reached at (401) 741-5101 or
Douglas W. Gablinske,
Executive Director, TEC-RI