Earlier this month, Gov. Sununu vetoed legislation that would raise the net metering cap from 1 megawatt to 5 megawatts in New Hampshire. If not overridden by the Legislature, this will prevent cities and towns across the state from pursuing their renewable energy goals. It will also limit opportunities for local elected officials to use creative solutions, like solar power generation, to combat rising costs and save taxpayer dollars.
In Keene, we are a fiercely fiscally responsible, creative, and collaborative bunch. In my role as a city councilor, I’m regularly impressed by our ambition and problem-solving ability. Recent examples include how to finance the renovation and expansion of one of the largest and most versatile public libraries in the state, or how to facilitate the painting of 16 world-class murals over a long weekend.
Next up for Keene is figuring out how to sustainably power our wastewater treatment plant. This facility is the largest energy user in the county, and we’re working on a plan to power it from renewable solar power. If the metering cap is not raised, the scale of the project will be limited and the potential savings diminished.
The governor has appointed me to his Millennial Advisory Council and the University System Board of Trustees. But the benefit of a strong working relationship is being able to disagree. On this issue, I disagree strongly.
By not raising the cap, the governor is removing a tool from our limited toolbox for community building in New Hampshire. The Legislature should have the wherewithal to override him.
GEORGE S. HANSEL
84 Elm St.