Community power group sets energy prices for customers in 14 NH municipalities

By ADRIANA MARTINEZ-SMILEY

New Hampshire Public Radio

Published: 07-05-2023 11:55 AM

The Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire, the state’s largest community power collective, unanimously approved discounted energy prices Friday. The new prices will go into effect starting in August, through the end of January 2024.

Buying power on behalf of approximately 75,000 customers in 12 towns and cities (including Enfield, Hanover, Lebanon, Lyme, New London and Plainfield in the Upper Valley), the coalition estimates customers will collectively save $5.5 million dollars over the six-month period. Savings for individual households can be anywhere from $48 to $90 over the same time, they said.

The approved base price, 10.9 cents per kw/h (kilowatt hours), beats out the three main energy suppliers in the state — Unitil, Liberty and Eversource — during the same period. The coalition also lowered costs on their additional renewable energy prices.

Henry Herndon, a consultant for the coalition, said they were able to offer competitive rates in part by keeping their operating costs low. He said community power offers cheaper, cleaner energy options, while also giving people a way to learn more about the power sector.

“I think it gives customers more choices,” he said. “They know they have a locally accountable community power program that's responsive to their individual communities.”

Brian Callnan, the coalition’s CEO, said he hopes they can maintain a low overhead to maximize savings.

“We have a different setup as to how the other utilities are procuring energy, and we want to take advantage of that as long as we can,” said Callnan.

Herndon said the estimated net revenue —$1.7 million — will go toward a community reserve fund which can be reinvested  into local clean energ y  projects.

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CORRECTION: The Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire serves 12 municipalities. The approved base price for the coalition is 10.9 cents per kw/h (kilowatt hours). Savings for individual households is expected to be anywhere from $48 to $90 over the six months from August through January 2024. A previous version of this NHPR story incorrectly described the number of municipalities currently served by the coalition, the approved base price and the potential savings for individual households.