Keene Mayor George Hansel on Thursday referred a draft community power program to the City Council’s Finance, Organization and Personnel Committee for further consideration.
The plan — which would enable the city to purchase power on behalf of Keene residents and businesses and source more energy from renewables — has been in the making for months. The program is a key element of the city’s sweeping renewable energy plan, which the council passed in January and aims to see Keene transition to 100 percent renewable sources for electricity by 2030 and for thermal and transportation energy by 2050.
The plan for Keene’s community power program was developed by an ad hoc committee that spent the past several months ironing out the details of the proposal.
The resulting draft was introduced to the council during its meeting Thursday. It is standard for items to be referred to committee for discussion and a recommendation before the full council takes a vote.
The program, as presented, would make the city the default electricity supplier, a role currently filled by Eversource. While Eversource would continue to provide delivery and billing services, those now being supplied by the company would automatically be enrolled in the community power program.
The program is voluntary, and people would be free to opt out. Four plans would be offered: one that doesn’t draw any additional energy from renewable sources, one that increases the green-energy share by a small amount while keeping rates competitive with the utility, a 50 percent renewable option and a 100 percent renewable option.
The FOP committee will next meet Thursday at 6:30 p.m.