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Climate & Business

Eversource

Eversource is joining a group of utilities aiming to build a national network of high-speed electric vehicle chargers.

The company, which is New Hampshire’s largest electric provider, is the first in the Northeast to join the Electric Highway Coalition, launched last month by utilities in the Southeast, Gulf Coast and Midwest.

Liberty

Liberty Utilities has suspended a home weatherization program for its natural gas customers because of delays at the Public Utilities Commission in approving expanded energy efficiency goals for the state.

Other electric and gas utilities say they could soon face similar choices that will affect their customers if regulators continue to leave the issue undecided.

Dennis Schroeder / National Renewable Energy Labs

The New Hampshire state Senate on Thursday advanced a plan to require utility investment in large offshore wind energy projects and other renewable sources. The proposal for what’s known as a "procurement program" passed on a bipartisan 23 to 1 vote.

/Kristoferb - Creative Commons

While efficiency upgrades can save money and cut back on your carbon footprint, how much should we invest, especially during a pandemic? It’s been a big debate for N.H. utility regulators. The Public Utilities Commission delayed their decision on this issue in December 2020 and is expected to make a ruling by mid-February 2021. As part of  NHPR’s By Degrees climate reporting project, we examined the pros and cons of greater efficiency, and whether businesses and residents should have to deal with up-front costs to create savings down the road. What does this debate say about the state’s energy future? 

Airdate: Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. Original airdate: Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020

Lopi Wood Stoves

Homeowners who install modern wood heating systems can now get a new tax credit, under the federal omnibus bill passed late last year.

New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation supported the measure, which the state’s timber industry has wanted for years.

/Kristoferb - Creative Commons

Energy efficiency upgrades can save money and cut back on carbon footprints. but how should much should we invest, especially during a pandemic? It’s been a big debate for N.H. utility regulators in recent weeks.  As part of  NHPR’s By Degrees climate reporting project, we unpack this issues and examine the pros and cons of greater efficiency. Should businesses and residents have to deal with up-front costs to create savings down the road? And what does this debate say about the state’s energy future?

Airdate: Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A health-focused commission on reducing New Hampshire’s greenhouse gas emissions has finished its work with one recommendation: for the state Legislature to do more formal study of the issue next year.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR News

Citing pandemic-driven economic concerns, top Republican state lawmakers are asking the Public Utilities Commission to put off the adoption of more aggressive energy efficiency goals, currently set to take effect at the start of next year.

NHSaves

New Hampshire's electric and natural gas utilities are proposing an increase to their energy efficiency savings goals for the next three years, in a plan that aims to cut costs and carbon emissions but could slightly increase customers’ bills in the short-term.

The proposal centers on the utility-run NHSaves rebate program, which gives ratepayers incentives to use less energy by upgrading things like appliances, insulation or machinery.

Roush Clean Tech / Twitter

The city of Manchester is adding 14 propane-fueled school buses to its fleet in an effort to improve local air quality.

The city has 81 school buses in total. The new propane-powered ones will replace the oldest buses, all of which are between 14 and 18 years old. Officials say tests show the propane buses can cut emissions from diesel buses by 96%.

ReVision Energy

COVID-19 has been hard on just about every industry in New Hampshire, and renewable energy is no exception. 

People worried about money are putting off investing in solar panels, and health concerns have made home energy efficiency visits more complicated. But scientists say investments like these can lower energy costs, and remain a critical way to combat the other big crisis we’re facing – climate change. 

As part of NHPR’s new climate change reporting project, By Degrees, NHPR’s Annie Ropeik has been trying to find out what might be ahead for the renewable energy industry in the state. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with her about what’s next.

350 New Hampshire

Liberty Utilities says it will not build the proposed Granite Bridge natural gas pipeline in Southern New Hampshire, after finding a cheaper way to serve new customers by using existing infrastructure.

The company told the state of the change in plans in a Public Utilities Commission filing Friday afternoon. 

The $340-million pipeline plan dated to late 2017 and drew fierce opposition from climate change activists, who oppose any expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in the region.

https://flic.kr/p/5Dr6fa / Flicker CC

Every other Friday on Morning Edition NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown tracks down answers to questions about the environment and outdoors for our listeners in a segment we call “Ask Sam.”

"I’ve Seen a Future Without Cars, and It’s Amazing" is the title of a New York Times opinion piece exploring how to reduce the space cars take up in New York City and improve the liveability of the city. We talk with the author to explore his ideas to transform our dependence on cars and consider whether we can make public spaces friendlier and more equitable here in New Hampshire. During the pandemic, bicycle sales have soared, and parking spots are being re-imagined as outdoor dining. Can we seize this moment, when we’re using our cars less, and make these changes permanent? Sam Evans-Brown of NHPR's Outside/In podcast is the host. 

  • Airdate: Wednesday, July 22, 2020

 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Massachusetts recently announced that it was ending its pandemic moratorium on reusable shopping bags, saying towns could go back to reinforcing their bans on single-use plastic bags. 

Meanwhile, New Hampshire and many other states are still not letting shoppers bring their reusable bags to stores. But is that actually helping to slow the spread of coronavirus?


File photo

Today, Monday, could be one of the hottest days of the year, and with that comes high demand for electricity. Using less power in the heat could lower your bills – as well as carbon emissions.

Electricity bills carry a fee based on the peak demand within the year. Consultant Emily Manns of Nashua-based Standard Power says it’s possible that fee will be set today, at the peak hours: between 4 and 7 p.m.

Businesses and factories may pay a penalty for using more power during that time, but it has an effect on residential customers, too:

Donna Hiltz / NHPR

Members of Congress from New Hampshire are joining a call for clean energy workforce investment as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19.

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen joined nearly 60 other Democrats, led by lawmakers from New York and New Mexico, who sent a letter on the issue to Congressional leadership this week.

The letter cites research showing the clean energy sector could lose nearly a quarter of its jobs to the pandemic in the near term.