For the second time, Gov. Sununu has vetoed a bill that would have expanded net-metered energy production in New Hampshire from 1 megawatt to 5 MWs. This veto hurts New Hampshire for these reasons:

1. New Hampshire electric rates for business/industrial customers are nearly 90 percent above the national average. Municipal rates increase yearly. The net metering bill, House Bill 365, would have allowed municipalities and businesses to invest funds into renewable energy infrastructure, stabilizing costs and saving millions of dollars.

2. Net metering would have reduced transmission and other regional costs for all New Hampshire ratepayers. Power produced in New Hampshire reduces our 9.5 percent share of regional costs. Other states in the regional energy pool are ahead of New Hampshire in development of renewables. As their share of regional costs are reduced, New Hampshire’s share increases. Net metering lowers energy bills for all consumers and keeps our energy dollars in New Hampshire.

3. Increasing net metering to 5 MWs would have provided New Hampshire a local mechanism to improve electricity supply. The Independent System Operator of New England, which controls electric distribution across the grid, is predicting electricity shortfalls, requiring rolling blackouts, which could occur as soon as 2024.

4. Through the development of renewable energy infrastructure, HB 365 would have reduced CO2 emissions, therefore providing New Hampshire with cleaner air and assisting in the fight against climate change. Given the unified concern for climate as expressed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, by the 2018 National Climate Assessment, by the Union of Concerned Scientists, and literally thousands of other scientific groups worldwide, every tool that can be employed to slow climate change must be used.

Please contact your senator and representative and request they vote to override the governor’s veto of HB 365.

CHRIS BALCH

531 Lyndeborough Center Road

Wilton

(This writer, a Democrat, represents Hillsborough District 38 in the N.H. House.)