The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a nonprofit “partner” organization of the American Energy Alliance, which is a 501(c)(4) grassroots organization designed to communicate IER’s policies to voters. IER was founded in 1989 from a predecessor nonprofit organization registered by Charles Koch and Robert L. Bradley Jr. The American Energy Alliance was founded by the National Association of Manufacturers and the American Petroleum Institute to fight the BTU tax proposal in 1993, and in recent years has been funded by Exxon Mobil and Koch Industries.
Last year, IER released a report criticizing renewable energy laws and said electricity prices are higher in states with RES laws, but failed to provide any other factors in the cost hikes. Nevertheless, this year, DBL Investors shed light on that claim and found that in fact, “states relying more on renewable generation have experienced retail electricity prices comparable to, or cheaper than, states relying less on renewable generation.” The 10 states with the greatest share of generation from renewables averaged a retail electricity price of 9.79 cents/kWh in 2013, versus an average of 10.28 cents/kWh for the 10 states with the least share of renewable electricity generation.
This year, IER was not actively working to weaken or repeal RES laws across the country compared to prior years. For example, Daniel Simmons, Director of Regulatory and State Affairs at IER, testified in 2013 before the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee regarding that state’s RES. In 2014, IER’s Travis Fisher submitted written testimony in Kansas on a proposed repeal of that state’s RES.
However, IER released a report in 2015 on the topic of net metering, saying the policy only benefits higher-income households. IER based the claims mostly from the report authored by David Dismukes of the Acadian Consulting Group.