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N.H. House Committee Backs Suite Of Renewable Energy, Efficiency Reforms


A set of renewable energy bills got bipartisan support in a state legislative committee Tuesday. Most members of the House energy committee voted to advance a bill expanding net energy metering in the state.

The proposal would let towns and businesses generate more of their own power to sell back to the electric grid. Governor Chris Sununu vetoed a version of the plan last year.

Now, this year’s versions of the bill are nearing Sununu’s desk with potentially veto-proof margins of support.

But Representative Bob Backus, who chairs the House energy committee, says he hopes Sununu will consider signing the net metering bill, and others: 

"We've moved a lot of bills forward that we think are very good to support energy efficiency, our best resource to meet future need, and renewables, which is another fine resource,” Backus said in an interview.

To that end, his committee also gave nearly unanimous support Tuesday to ending customer rebates from the Regional Greenhouse Initiative, and putting that funding instead toward energy efficiency programs.

Backus says efficiency is the best way to offset New Hampshire's high electric rates.

"You can use less energy and get the same quality of service - that's where you can save money on your bill."

His committee also voted Tuesday to support a plan to get the state using 60 percent renewable energy by 2040, and to work on bringing a large-scale renewable energy procurement program to the state.

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