Community power at its core is about residents taking a more active role in the source of the electricity they use on a daily basis. Most people living in New Hampshire get their electricity from their local electricity company. These companies do not generate this electricity, but purchase it for their customers. Our state separated electricity generation from electricity delivery. This means that our electricity companies own the poles and wires that deliver the electricity to our homes, but not the generators of electricity traveling along these poles and wires.
With the Community Power Law, New Hampshire communities can make different choices. And, this, in turn, can bring significant benefits. Presently, rules are being ironed out by the Public Utilities Commission. While the law has been enacted, specific regulations still need to be ironed out for community power to be easily implemented. This doesn’t mean that residents should not be learning more about their options.
How can regions reap the most benefit from community power? By investing in community power solutions that produce local investment and increase resilience.
If residents choose to invest in a Community Power New Hampshire (CPNH) model, they invest in their communities and become part of a statewide effort to empower the residents of New Hampshire. By teaming up with CPNH communities gain more control over their power purchase sources. This means if a community wants to purchase more of a certain type of power, it can.
Communities can take advantage of available billing features. Mechanisms exist to accrue local funding that could go to activities your community decides upon. For example, to support energy efficiency efforts especially targeted to low-income housing.
Communities can connect and invest in New Hampshire energy creation. CPNH can create jobs, energy, and increase local resilience by creating energy sources locally.
Communities can invest in meters that signal residents to save money by using power at times when energy demand is low. This can help everyone save money and benefit those who invest in energy storage.
Communities can create opportunities to increase resilience through local energy creation, and storage sources forming stand-alone energy systems able to run when the grid goes down.
Towns, cities, and counties are already involved in creating and supporting CPNH; preparing to build a New Hampshire less dependent on outside power, more resilient and with all the benefits local infrastructure can add to the economy.
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