Retail Merchants’ energy program gets a last-minute extension

The energy-efficiency program covers audits as well as installation of conservation measures


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Granite State businesses have one last chance to participate in the Retail Merchants Association of New Hampshire’s Giving Power Back energy-efficiency program, but they will have to act quickly if they want to take advantage of it.

Those that do can get a 50 percent match on the cost of an energy audit as well as a yet-to-be determined percentage of the cost of installing energy-saving measures.

The program is one of the last remaining initiatives run by the state Public Utilities Commission with money generated through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. RGGI in turn gets its money through auctions of air pollutants.

While New Hampshire still participates in the multi-state program, it now rebates much of the funds back to ratepayers and dedicates what’s left to utilities’ energy-efficiency programs. Lawmakers argued that that the PUC was picking winners and losers by funding targeted programs like those being run by the Retail Merchants Association.

The association has awarded $1.4 million of the $2 million grant it received in 2010. Some 184 businesses enrolled in the program, and about half of them started to implement energy savings recommended in audit, and are expected to spend $620,000 less on energy because of them. But some of the recipients couldn’t complete their projects by the end of the fiscal year.

“We had to stop doing audits, stop funding projects because we thought the program was going to end June 30,” said Amanda Holden, the association’s energy program director. “We were winding down.”

However, the law allows the PUC to finish spending money left over before the Legislature changed the law. And with Executive Council approval, RMANH got an extension to spend the remaining $600,000.

Holden said that Giving Power Back is expected to conduct another 15 audits and cover another 25 rebates. Only days after they announced the extension, calls are coming in, she said, adding that she already ahs about a dozen applications.

“It’s going quick. Those spots are filling up very quickly,” she said.

For more information contact Holden at amanda@rmanh.com or 603-225-9748.

Granite State businesses have one last chance to participate in the Retail Merchants Association of New Hampshire’s Giving Power Back energy-efficiency program, but they will have to act quickly if they want to take advantage of it.

Those that do can get a 50 percent match on the cost of an energy audit as well as a yet-to-be determined percentage of the cost of installing energy-saving measures.

The program is one of the last remaining initiatives run by the state Public Utilities Commission with money generated through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. RGGI in turn gets its money through auctions of air pollutants.

While New Hampshire still participates in the multi-state program, it now rebates much of the funds back to ratepayers and dedicates what’s left to utilities’ energy-efficiency programs. Lawmakers argued that that the PUC was picking winners and losers by funding targeted programs like those being run by the Retail Merchants Association.

The association has awarded $1.4 million of the $2 million grant it received in 2010. Some 184 businesses enrolled in the program, and about half of them started to implement energy savings recommended in audit, and are expected to spend $620,000 less on energy because of them. But some of the recipients couldn’t complete their projects by the end of the fiscal year.

“We had to stop doing audits, stop funding projects because we thought the program was going to end June 30,” said Amanda Holden, the association’s energy program director. “We were winding down.”

However, the law allows the PUC to finish spending money left over before the Legislature changed the law. And with Executive Council approval, RMANH got an extension to spend the remaining $600,000.

Holden said that Giving Power Back is expected to conduct another 15 audits and cover another 25 rebates. Only days after they announced the extension, calls are coming in, she said, adding that she already ahs about a dozen applications.

“It’s going quick. Those spots are filling up very quickly,” she said.

For more information contact Holden at amanda@rmanh.com or 603-225-9748.

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