The recent PUC Order, #26.553, rejects the idea that Granite Staters care about our neighbors and want to make all homes in the state more energy efficient.

The order seems to imply that we cannot figure out that money spent on energy efficiency is a good investment for everyone. It lowers the overall state energy consumption (load) and lowers the amount of energy assistance needed to heat buttoned up homes in the future.

In fact, the numbers have been in since 2018 that NHSaves is a great return on investment. We know “… [T]he NHSaves programs, began in June 2002. Since then, approximately $320 million has been spent on energy efficiency measures, with expected energy savings of more than 13.5 billion kWh over the lifetime of the measures.” (“Results and effectiveness of the system benefits charge annual report,” Oct. 1, 2018.)

It is difficult to put an exact monetary value on this energy savings since it is over years and inflation changes the value. But a rough estimate in today’s dollars would be a savings of energy costs only (no distribution costs) of well over $1 billion.

The plan that the Public Utilities Commission rejected was approved by the state’s energy providers and energy advocates. Even the utilities know that energy-efficiency dollars are the best return on investment and need to be supported. But, the savings isn’t the only reason to write to your representatives and the PUC to reconsider.

It is also the workers that button up homes and businesses in the state. With the current order, the utilities have had to cancel already-planned work and put small businesses in New Hampshire out of work right now.

When you think of all the benefits this programs brings, from more comfortable homes and businesses to employing local residents to do the work, it seems misguided to reduce the amount of the system’s benefit charge, saying that Granite Staters don’t want to pay into this fund at an average of $5 a month. Please use your voice and words to let the PUC know that NHSaves is a good investment and the funding suggested by the utilities in conjunction with statewide experts needs to be upheld. Thus, the PUC needs to accept the proposed order initially rejected.