New Hampshire companies call for enhancing state’s energy-efficiency standard

In letter to PUC, they urge boost, citing ‘most cost-effective energy resource available’

Electric Meters In A Row Measuring Power Use. Electricity Consumption Concept.More than two dozen New Hampshire businesses have issued a call to speed up energy-efficiency investments in the state by increasing the state’s energy-efficiency resource standard.

The companies – including Filtrine of Keene, Garland Mill of Lancaster, Lonza of Portsmouth, Stonyfield Organic of Londonderry and Worthen Industries of Nashua – have signed a letter to the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission calling for members to hike the energy-efficiency resource standard, or EERS, as part of the 2021-23 Statewide Energy Efficiency Plan.

Energy efficiency, they write in their letter, “is the most cost-effective energy resource available.”

Under the current proposal to hike the EERS, New Hampshire would increase energy-saving targets for electric and gas utilities to 4.5% and 2.8%, respectively.

Achieving these targets would reduce carbon emissions equivalent to removing nearly a million cars from New Hampshire’s roads for one year and result in customer energy cost savings of more than $1.1 billion over the lifetime of the program’s measures, the businesses say

Utility modeling has shown that an increased EERS would lead to an immediate increase in electricity rates – specifically through increases in the System Benefits Charge and the Local Delivery Adjustment Charge – but would ultimately generate significant long-term savings in electricity costs for the majority of New Hampshire’s commercial and industrial customers, the letter argues.

The move, it says, would create more resources for companies to reinvest back into their business, employees and local communities.

“Investments in energy efficiency not only help businesses cut costs, they also support some of the state’s highest paying jobs and will help drive the state’s economic recovery,” the letter says. “In 2019, more than 12,000 New Hampshire residents worked in clean energy, with nearly 90% employed by the energy efficiency sector.2 These jobs are local, in hands-on fields like installation so they cannot be easily outsourced, and many have average salaries 50% higher than the state average.”

The letter adds: “Energy efficiency investments through the NHSaves program can also lower net demand on the electrical grid resulting in avoided demand costs for all residents by reducing the need for expensive oil and gas peaker plants that are too expensive to be economical outside of periods of peak demand. Additionally, efficiency investments also reduce the need for construction of new generation, transmission, and distribution capacity needed to meet growing electricity demand.”

Other signatories to the letter are: Ashuelot River Hydro, Inc., Breathe New Hampshire, Estate Preservation & Planning, Green Energy Options of Keene, Hannah Grimes Center, Hannover Co-op Food Stores & Auto Service Centers,

Mainstay Technologies, MAYO Designs Inc., MegaFood,

Mighty Roots, NEC Solar Services, Placework, ReVision Energy, Ridgeview Construction, Sarah Mae Brown Consulting, Sheldon Pennoyer Architects, Standard Power, Sullivan Construction, Sustainable Futures Consulting,, Timberland,

Tupelo Music Hall and Veris Wealth Partners.

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