Peterborough moves ahead with draft community power plan
The Peterborough Select Board voted to move a draft plan for a community power program forward to public hearings after a Tuesday presentation by the town’s community power task force.
Get NHPR's reporting about politics, the pandemic, and other top stories in your inbox — sign up for our newsletter (it's free!) today.
A community power program allows a local government to purchase electricity in bulk for residents. The program could bring electricity that is cheaper and offer more renewable electricity options to residents, Joel Huberman, the chair of the task force said.
Under Peterborough’s draft community power plan, residents would be able to choose between four different plans that would provide lower prices on electricity, more renewable energy, or both.
The default plan would provide electricity rates that are competitive with the rates residents currently pay with Eversource and would have more renewable energy than Eversource’s default, according to Huberman.
Peterborough residents automatically switch over to the community power program but could opt to stay with Eversource if they wished.
Huberman said part of the motivation to start working on a community power plan was the town’s goal to have 100% of their energy come from renewable sources by 2050, and to have 100% of the town’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030.
“I view community power as a way to accelerate – dramatically accelerate – the transition from electricity produced by the burning of fossil fuels to electricity produced…from renewable sources,” Huberman said.
The plan would have the town work with one of three organizations helping New Hampshire municipalities control the procurement of electricity for residents: Standard Power, Freedom Energy Logistics, or the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire.
After a 2019 law made it possible for local governments to create community power programs, many New Hampshire municipalities got started. Four municipalities already have locally approved plans, and there are more than two dozen communities with active planning processes in place, according to Emily Manns, a community power consultant with Standard Power.
Community power plans like Peterborough’s face a long road, with the Public Utilities Commission just starting the process to make rules about their implementation.
Public hearings on Peterborough’s plan will be held on February 22 and February 24, according to Huberman.