NH community power rules could be a money saver and game changer

 NH community power rules could be a money saver and game changer

he rules cover the formation of community power programs and set ground rules about how utilities interact with them.

In a move energy experts believe will transform New Hampshire’s energy market, the Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved community power rules that will allow cities and towns to save money and prioritize renewable energy. 

The rules advance efforts that date back more than 25 years to bring down New Hampshire’s high energy costs by enabling market competition. The vote comes as the cost of electricity is set to spike in August.

The PUC has rejected other measures that would reduce demand for electricity, like its November decision to deny the state’s energy efficiency plan and slash funding for energy efficiency, a move reversed by House Bill 549. The commission’s makeup has since changed, with the addition of two new members.

Proponents say allowing communities to band together will bring big benefits, including lower energy costs through increased competition and greater control over buying energy when it’s cheapest. And clean energy advocates see community power as a way for localities to opt for renewable energy.

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