NH gets mixed reviews on energy efficiency
Residential performance is good, but not when it comes to vehicles
New Hampshire is in the top 10 when it comes to energy-efficient homes, but it’s not doing nearly so well when it comes to vehicles, according to a WalletHub survey released Tuesday. Because of that, the state has 12thbest overall score for energy efficiency.
The Granite State ranked ninth in the country when it comes to total residential energy consumption per capita, when taking into account degree days, based on 2016 data. But neighboring states did even better. Vermont was first, Maine was sixth and Massachusetts was eighth. New York (third) and Rhode Island (sixth) also beat out New Hampshire.
All of those above states participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap and trade program that requires power plants to pay for the carbon they release into the atmosphere. The states can direct the money they receive from the program back into energy-efficiency programs, but New Hampshire for the last several years has severely curtailed the amount it uses for that efficiency and instead rebates the money to ratepayers.
The state was also last in the region to adopt an energy-efficiency resource standard, or EERS, which allows the Public Utilities Commission to greatly increase the system benefit charge to upgrade the state’s energy conservation programs. But the PUC adopted the EERS in the summer of 2016, too late to affect the state’s score.
When it comes to energy efficiency in vehicles, the state ranked 25th out of 48 states.