WHAT IS COMMUNITY POWER?
Under Community Power programs, local governments can procure and provide electricity to their residents and businesses on a competitive basis. By bypassing outdated regulations and legacy technologies, Community Power programs can harness private-sector innovation to lower costs for customers and provide other energy services.
Electric distribution utilities (e.g., Eversource, Liberty Utilities, NH Electric Cooperative, and Unitil) continue to deliver electricity to customers via their transmission distribution systems.
Community Power is sometimes referred to as “municipal aggregation” or “community choice aggregation.”
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
By aggregating purchasing power across a community, and by having greater flexibility in energy contracting than regulated utilities, Community Power programs can harness private sector innovation to lower costs for their customers.
Community Power programs may choose to purchase power based on other attributes such as renewable sources.
Community Power programs can also be a vehicle to construct local renewable energy projects to be the source of power for the program.
WHEN DOES IT GO INTO EFFECT?
Senate Bill 286, signed into law on August 2, 2019, enables local governments to develop Community Power programs.
Senate Bill 286 goes into effect on October 1, 2019.
Read the legislation here!
WHO CAN IMPLEMENT A COMMUNITY POWER PROGRAM?
Municipal and county governments may implement Community Power programs. Multiple local governments may join together to implement Community Power programs.
HOW DOES A LOCAL GOVERNMENT FORM A COMMUNITY POWER PROGRAM?
The first step for a local government to implement a Community Power program is for the local governing body – select board, town council, city council, or county commission – to form an electric aggregation committee to develop a Community Power Plan. Multiple towns, cities, or counties may group together to form committees to develop these plans.
Once the Community Power plan has been finalized it must be approved for implementation by the local government’s legislative body (e.g., town meeting vote, city council vote).