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Embattled Net Metering Plan Gains Support As State Lawmakers Aim To Overcome Sununu’s Opposition

File Photo, NHPR

Efforts to expand net energy metering in New Hampshire are gaining steam in the state legislature. The Senate takes up a key proposal this week, after the House passed its version of the bill by a wide margin.

Net metering lets energy customers save on their bills by generating their own power.

One proposal that's drawn a lot of attention would increase the net metering limit for towns and businesses from 1 megawatt to 5.

Rob Werner is a city councilor in Concord, which hopes to be using all renewable power within the coming decades. He says the net metering expansion would help:

"Part of the reason for doing this is not only the environmental aspect, but we want to be able to control our own energy destiny,” Werner said at a recent event.

Governor Chris Sununu vetoed this plan last year, citing concerns without clear evidence that it would raise rates for other customers. But Werner says the bill would help Sununu achieve a goal he’s touted this year – to use solar power to help low-income residents.

"As [communities] move to renewable energy more strongly, it could be really distributed throughout the community,” Werner said. “It'll make it easier for low-income communities to take advantage of it."

Werner says he thinks legislators can override a potential veto from the governor this year, if necessary. They fell just short of doing so with this proposal last year.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.

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