Henry Herndon 0

To NH House ST&E: Vote "No" On HB 315

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To the Honorable Members of the New Hampshire House Science, Technology & Energy Committee,

As voters and community leaders, we write to respectfully request that you vote “No” on House Bill 315, relative to aggregation of electric customers (HB 315).

In 2019, Governor Sununu demonstrated his leadership on market-based energy solutions when he signed into law an innovative update to RSA 53-E, Relative to Aggregation of Electric Customers by Municipalities and Counties. This “Community Power Law” democratizes energy by enabling cities, towns, and counites to procure and provide electricity and related services on behalf of their residents and businesses.

Over the past year, many towns and cities across the state have begun working to leverage Community Power for the benefit of their citizens. Now, before we have even had the chance to launch our initial programs, Community Power comes under threat.

House Bill 315, introduced at the request of Eversource, would gut RSA 53-E and undercut the innovative potential of businesses to offer customers new products and services through Community Power. This bill would strength monopoly control over competitive markets, burden communities with arduous regulations, and altogether sabotage the potential for municipalities to make their own energy supply decisions through Community Power. HB 315 entirely undermines the intent of Governor Sununu’s innovative update to RSA 53-E, which was supported by a bipartisan legislature.

The purpose of RSA 53-E is to:

  • “provide small customers with similar opportunities to those available to larger customers in obtaining lower electric costs, reliable service, and secure energy suppliers…”
  • “to provide such customers access to competitive markets for supplies of electricity and related services…”
  • “to encourage voluntary, cost effective and innovative solutions to local needs with careful consideration of local conditions and opportunities.”

HB 315 undermines the purpose of RSA 53-E by:

  1. Eliminating Community Power authority to provide electric power supply and related customer service, load management and energy conservation;
  2. Restricting energy services available to Community Power to only monopolistic and regulated ones;
  3. Removing Community Power access to data necessary for program implementation;
  4. Subjecting Community Power to regulation by the Public Utilities Commission.

Community Power aims to harness competitive markets and economies of scale to help lower energy costs and give communities greater choice. We are excited about the potential benefits that Community Power can bring to our cities and towns. But those benefits will be never be realized if HB 315 is to become law.

Community Power represents a “New Hampshire Way” forward on energy issues, one that chooses markets over mandates; local control over monopoly control; and innovation over regulation. Please do not allow this attack on Community Power to take away our local authorities.

Please, vote “No” on HB 315.

Sincerely,

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