Past Legislative Activity
SB 218 (RPS Changes)
In 2012, SB 218 was passed by both the House and Senate and subsequently signed into law by former Governor Lynch. This bill added a thermal energy component to the existing Class I eligible resources under the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). This bill also lowered the alternative compliance payment (ACP) for the Class II solar category, which means that it is now relatively less expensive for utilities and competitive suppliers to pay the ACP than to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates from generating solar electric facilities in New Hampshire and New England, which in practice will make it more difficult to develop solar resources in New Hampshire. For the full text of the bill and all changes that were made to the RPS, visit here.
NH and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
In 2012 the General Court voted to modify the RGGI program and its associated revenue stream in NH. The legislature voted (and Governor Lynch signed into law) a bill that redistributes all future RGGI income that NH receives from the carbon allowance auctions from competitive grant programming adminsitered by the Public Utilities Commission to, in part, ratepayers, with the remaining portion going into the existing CORE programming. CORE programming is energy efficiency programming that is managed by the state electric and gas utilities with regulatory oversight by the Public Utilities Commission. See our fact sheet on RGGI here.
Congratulations NH for keeping up the PACE!
On May 12, 2010 the NH Senate passed HB 1554, AKA the "PACE Bill." PACE is an acronym for Property Assessed Clean Energy—its final passage will enable municipalities to establish revolving loan funds to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for both residential and commercial properties. The Senate chose not to attach SB 334 to HB 1554, permitting this great legislation to go forward without a controversial amendment. As of May 14, 2010, SB 334 is not attached to any other legislation.
HB 1554 will provide an important tool for financing energy efficiency improvements in existing homes and businesses in a manner that is consistent with the local control ethic of New Hampshire government. It will enable the State's municipalities to provide access to bond-based or other capital for the residents' and businesses' clean energy projects. Eligible projects include weatherization and a variety of innovative renewable energy projects. Financing for these improvements will be achieved through mechanisms that provide for a positive cash flow for the property owner, based on demonstrable energy efficiency savings. (The arrangement authorized by the bill is similar to special assessment or betterment district mechanisms used to finance street upgrades, utility line burial or other improvements benefitting certain properties, except that participation by property owners in energy efficiency and clean energy districts would be purely voluntary)
Better Buildings and PACE
The state of New Hampshire was recently awarded $10 million from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to fund the Better Buildings Program, a comprehensive energy savings initiative in Berlin, Nashua and Plymouth, and then other communities. "Property assessed clean energy" or "PACE" financing such as House Bill 1554 will authorize could play a large part in the Beacon Communities project. The DOE funding announcement was released in conjunction with two federal reports endorsing PACE financing: one by the Vice President's Middle Class Task Force, "Recovery Through Retrofit," and another released by the White House—"Policy Framework for PACE Financing Programs"—that set out recommended best practices for PACE programs. House Bill 1554 incorporates the recommended best practices. The bill will help position New Hampshire to secure federal funding to capitalize financing programs in 2010 and subsequent years and allow all communities to set up programs on a voluntary basis.