In 1996, New Hampshire was the first state to pass an Electric Utility Restructuring Act to de-monopolize aspects of the power sector to give customers greater choice, lower costs, and enable market innovations. After a stall in the market for several years, New Hampshire’s Community Power law was passed and became effective October 1, 2019 to help revamp the efforts.
New Hampshire restructured and implemented retail choice in 1996, with an opt-in option (RSA 374-F). As a result, there was not much impact on the state’s electric offering. To remedy this, in 2019 the state introduced an update to the law, RSA-53E which allowed for opt-out choice. In addition, the update also authorized Community Power Programs to implement electricity metering infrastructure.
in January, 2021 with the introduction of HB 315, which would place a number of regulatory and other hurdles in the way of, and perhaps even deter, communities hoping to adopt power aggregation plans. Fortunately, in April, 2021, both the state’s electric utilities and community power advocates have unanimously agreed to an amendment of HB 315 that will eliminate the bill’s most objectionable features.
The Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire (CPCNH) formed a Super JPA in early 2021 with the cities of Hanover, Lebanon, Nashua and Cheshire. These member municipalities began working together to competitively procure electricity supplies, offer innovative customer services and programs, and begin to work in partnership with distribution utilities, regulators and innovative businesses to modernize the state's electrical grid and market infrastructure.
On October 1, 2021, Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire incorporated with thirteen municipal members and 1 county Member. Coalition Membership is open to all New Hampshire cities, towns, counties and regionally operated Community Power Aggregations.
As of April 25, 2022, the Coalition is made up of eighteen municipal members and one county member and represents approximately 20% of New Hampshire's population. They hope to launch services to its members in early 2023.
NEW NEWS AND EMERGING ISSUES
The state's first CCA program launched in May, 2023 with an initial wave of ten communities: Enfield, Exeter, Hanover, Harrisville, Lebanon, Nashua, Peterborough, Plainfield, Rye, and Walpole. The Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire (CPCNH) announced their base electric rate of 15.8 ¢ per kilowatt-hour, which will generate $5.8 million of dollars in savings for electric customers in ten New Hampshire communities in the first three months alone. See more details HERE.
RENEWABLES PORTFOLIO STANDARD
In 2007, New Hampshire enacted a renewable portfolio standard, requiring 25.2% of the electricity produced in the state to come from renewable sources by 2025. The renewable portfolio standard is made up of four classes. Qualifying Class I energy sources are new renewables (e.g., wind, hydrogen, ocean thermal, wave, current), Class II energy sources are new solar, Class III energy sources are existing biomass/methane, and Class IV energy sources are existing small hydroelectric sources.
LEGISLATION (PARTIAL LIST)
RSA 374-F: Electric Utility Restructuring Act (1996)
SB 286; RSA 53-E:6: CCA Enabling Legislation (2019)
HB 315 (January 2021)
HB 315 Amendment (April, 2021)
Page last updated 5.30.23
NH community power: Rates will be 20 to 40 percent less than utility companies. March 13, 2023, New Hampshire Bulletin
Keene Community Power Program to Launch in June. March 8, 2023, keenenh.gov
Community power picks up steam.
Municipalities enter a new era of energy. November 4, 2022, New Hampshire Business Review
Electric prices are going up, but advocates say there's another way. July 31, 2022, The New Hampshire Union Leader
Local municipalities still awaiting final state rules for community power plans. July 23, 2022, Yahoo News
Public Utilities Commission starts the process to make rules for community power programs. January 13, 2022, NHPR.org
Wilton looks to form community power group. Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, November 24, 2021
CPCNH incorporates with membership of 13 municipalities and 1 county. Seacoastonline.com, October 5, 2021
New Hampshire Governor Signs Clean Energy Bills. Solar Industry, August 27, 2021
After years of attempts, state gets a new and expanded net metering law. Valley News, August 26, 2021
Dublin officials eye community power as possible resource for electricity. SentinelSource.com, August 25, 2021
Swanzey seeks public input in designing a community power program. SentinelSource.com, August 12, 2021
Hanover, Lebanon eye ‘community power’ to offer control over energy sourcing. Valley News, June 22, 2021
In Win For N.H. Green Energy Advocates, Local Net Metering Expansion Moves Forward. nhpr.org, June 16, 2021
Essential Info About Energy Usage In NH Is Elusive — And That's A Costly Problem. patch.com, May 27, 2021
Sentinel Editorial: Greener steps; Community power just part of Keene's worthwhile renewable energy plan. SentinelSource.com, April 10, 2021
Sentinel Editorial: Power play; Lawmakers listened, compromised on community power legislation. SentinelSource.com, March 26, 2021
N.H. considers bill to enhance community power aggregation while strengthening customer protections. Daily Energy Insider, March 6, 2021
Lebanon, Hanover Are First To Join New Statewide Community Power Coalition. nhpr.org, February 4, 2021
CCA-Enabling Legislation: SB 286; RSA 53-E:6
New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission
ISO New England (manages NE power grid, power system planning and wholesale energy markets)
New Hampshire's RPS statute, RSA 362-F
Public Utilities Commission RPS Website
Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire
Community Choice New Hampshire
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