Governor Sununu Ignores Needs of New Hampshire
Vetoes crucial bill to foster renewable energy projects & lower costs
Governor Sununu dealt a serious blow to N.H. businesses, municipalities, and the residents they serve by vetoing a bill that would have lowered energy costs for all ratepayers. House Bill 365, a bill that passed the legislature with overwhelming bi-partisan support, would have raised the ability to net meter qualifying renewable energy projects from 1 megawatt (MW) up to 5 MWs.
In a remarkably short-sighted and misinformed decision, Governor Sununu made a conscious choice to deny larger energy users the chance to self-generate their own power. He also spurned millions of dollars of private investment primed to enter the state and provide not only well-paying jobs, but significant associated economic benefits.
“It’s a blow to the growth of the renewable energy industry, for sure,” says Ted Vansant, Chair of the Board of Directors for Clean Energy NH, the state’s leading clean energy advocate and educator. “But what’s truly sad is the effect this action has on the countless businesses, school districts, and municipalities that were poised to complete projects.” Vansant continues: “In an era of hyper-partisanship, HB 365 was a true example of legislators working together to advance legislation that matters to their constituents. Not only did Governor Sununu ignore this cooperation, he blatantly denied the expressed needs of New Hampshire.”
HB 365 was designed to correct an arbitrary regulatory barrier that limits the size of a renewable energy project that can net meter, i.e. send excess energy they produce onto the grid for use by others in exchange for a credit on their bill. “This is the best option to empower businesses and municipalities to control their energy costs, as so many other cost drivers are out of our control in the regional electricity market,” says Madeleine Mineau, Executive Director for Clean Energy NH. “The legislature understands this. Clean Energy NH, our more than five hundred members, and many businesses and municipalities will now look to their legislators to side with New Hampshire ratepayers and taxpayers by overriding this veto.”
Madeleine Mineau, Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Brianna Brand, Senior Program Director email@example.com