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New Hampshire Utilities Propose New Energy Efficiency Goals

image credit: Street in Portsmouth, NH. Credit: David Wagman

New Hampshire's electric and natural gas utilities are proposing to increase their energy efficiency savings goals for the next three years through the utility-run NHSaves rebate program, which gives ratepayers incentives to use less energy by upgrading appliances, insulation or machinery.

The utilities' new goal would have them sell 5% less electricity and 3% less natural gas between 2021 and 2023. The current goal was to sell 3% less electricity and 2% less gas between 2018 and 2020.

Eversource, Unitil, Liberty Utilities and the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative filed their proposal with the Public Utilities Commission. They said it would save customers $1.3 billion overall and lower carbon emissions by the equivalent of taking nearly a million cars off the road for a year. 

New Hampshire scored 20 out of 50 for its energy efficiency policies in a scorecard from a key industry trade group quoted by local news outlets. Neighboring Massachusetts claimed the top possible rank on the 2019 scorecard, and Vermont and Rhode Island each earned a three out of 50.

The new proposal in New Hampshire aims to fund more enforcement of energy standards in local building codes as one way to meet the new goals. It also includes plans to work with customers to use less energy at specific times. The plan also suggests ways to work with manufacturers to retrofit and streamline industrial facilities, and propose expanded efficiency options for small businesses.

The utilities earn an incentive if they meet their goals, and they can recoup the entire program cost through the System Benefits Charge on electricity bills and the Local Delivery Adjustment Charge on gas bills.

The proposal will be the subject of regulatory hearings later this year.

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Matt Acton's picture
Matt Acton on Sep 15, 2020 8:03 am GMT

"The utilities earn an incentive if they meet their goals, and they can recoup the entire program cost.... " a shifting of income from the fossil fuel generators to the utility (i.e. shareholders) 🤨

Energy "efficiency" implies providing the same amount of energy at a lower cost? The efficiencies are being gained by the T+D utilities, likely by tapping down transformers and reducing voltage, taking more risks with limited power quality measurement/management/regulation in place.

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