All of New England operates on the same regional power grid. Here is the graph that Pat Martin sent around a bit earlier (attached) It shows the transmission costs in New England compared with some other regional grids in the country. Transmission fees (in purple) in New England (ISO-NE) are WAY higher than other areas of the US. Looks like $17.00 in 2014 … compared with let’s say $8.00 in PJM and less than $2.00 in NYISO – Even if the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline by some miracle did work to lower our electric generation rates (and I think we are all on the same page by now that presumable the pipeline will cause these rates to go up if there is a tariff and we subsidize this project – but for the sake of argument), even if the pipeline lowered electric generation rates by 50%, it would still do nothing to reduce our transmission fees and New England would still have comparatively higher wholesale energy prices than other parts of the country.
Kinder Morgan reps love to tell us that New England has the highest electric rates in the country and businesses are fleeing the area, so they can come through and try to sell us their “pipeline fix.” But, it looks to me like our high electricity rates are more a product of these transmission fees than they are a product of pipeline constraints in NY causing spikes during Winter-Peak periods here in New England.
So the next time someone says “Lower my Electric Bills – Build the Pipeline” or you drive past one of those lawn signs that say the same thing, please ask: “How will a pipeline reduce our transmission fees?” The answer, of course, is that it won’t.