Legislative Summary - April 2019

For the 20178-2019 legislative season, Standard Power is yet again keeping a close eye on net metering (HB 365 and SB 159) at the State House. HB 365 was passed by the House with a vote of 254-98 (more than the ⅔ necessary to override a potential veto from Governor Sununu) and passed by the Senate by a vote of 22-0 - we are now waiting on the House to concur on amendments before it is passed to the Governor's desk. SB 159 was passed by the Senate with a vote of 24-0 and will next be addressed by an executive session in the House later this month.

We support the increase of the net metering cap from 1MW to 5MW, based on the feedback of our many SAU, Town, and municipal clients. Expanded net metering capacity from 1 MW to 5 MW will help address projected electricity shortages and high electricity rates, increase regional and state energy independence, increase competitive customer choice, support local jobs, increase system reliability, and keep our energy dollars in state, without any cost shifting or subsidies.

At Standard Power, we administer a group net metering hydroelectric program to over 100 members across New Hampshire, including many SAUs, Towns, and local businesses, resulting in dramatic energy savings, even when compared to traditional third-party supply options. Due to current net metering laws, our hydro program currently is only able to work with dams under 1 MW and this limited supply quickly sells out each year. Expanding the net metering limit to 5 MW would mean more SAUs and Towns across New Hampshire could enjoy lower electric rates, as well as provide many indirect financial, social, and environmental benefits to the State.

This legislative season we are also following SB 286, which would enable New Hampshire to adopt an "opt-out" policy for municipal aggregation. Municipal aggregation, also known as community choice aggregation, is a policy that municipalities can implement to broker for energy supply on behalf of their community. Currently, New Hampshire has a virtually unused "opt-in" policy for municipal aggregation, which is estimated would result in participation ~20%. An "opt-out" policy has an estimated participation of ~80%, which would result in sufficient bulk purchasing power and economies of scale. 

As Standard Power specializes in working with SAUs, Towns, and other municipalities, we are very interested in providing these clients with additional opportunities to meet their energy goals, whether they be cost, environmental impact, local resources, or other priorities.

SB 268 passed the Senate and will next be addressed by an executive session in the House later this month.

Across the region, as interest in energy efficiency, non-wires alternatives (NWA), demand response (DR) programs, and behind-the-meter (BTM) net metering grows, we are excited to be seeing so many storage-related bills in the legislature. We have especially been keeping an eye on two very similar storage bills: SB 204 and HB 715, as this may shape whether future storage-related policies in the Granite State lean more utility-centric or consumer-centric.

SB 204 passed the Senate and will next be addressed by an executive session in the House later this month. HB 715 passed the House and will next be addressed by the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee and most likely an executive session.

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Hannah Smith

Energy Consultant

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P.O. Box 1206
Nashua NH 03061-1206

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