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Cheshire leads state, becomes the first County Community Power program in New Hampshire
Two more Community Power programs are launching this fall, bringing the number of customers benefiting from Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire services up to ~90,000 statewide.
Near the seacoast, electric customers in Dover have already received their “Welcome to Community Power!” letters, and the city hosted a public information session on September 25 attended by many dozens of excited citizens.
“They gave us a standing ovation after we presented on Dover Community Power,” said Dr. Jackson Kaspari, Dover Resilience Manager and Board Director for CPCNH. “It’s nice to see that kind of excitement and appreciation from the people of Dover.”
By lowering default electricity supply rates from 12.528¢ to 10.9¢, Dover Community Power will generate roughly half a million dollars in savings on customer electric bills in just the first three months of service. Most customers will be enrolled into Dover Community Power starting October 30.
On the southwestern corner of the state, Dublin, Fitzwilliam, and Nelson will be the first three towns to benefit from the first-of-its-kind County model of Community Power. Cheshire Community Power enables towns to “fast-track” Community Power benefits. The county approach eliminates the administrative and regulatory burden that towns would otherwise have to navigate by getting approvals from the Public Utilities Commission and drafting their own Electric Aggregation Plans.
Beyond the first three towns, Cheshire County expects other towns to be joining in the near future. Other New Hampshire counties have also begun discussions on adopting Community Power as a benefit to their communities.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring this increased control and cost savings to our Country government. Offering a fast-track approach for the city and towns in our county, will also allow them to enjoy the extensive benefits of Community Power in a simple and straightforward manner,” explained Cheshire County Commissioner Terry Clark. “Cheshire County was involved in founding CPCNH dating back to 2019, and we have worked alongside Lebanon, Nashua, and Hanover to help pioneer Community Power for the state. Now, every city and town will be able to reap the benefits that Community Power is bringing.”
Please refer to communitypowernh.gov for rate comparison tables.
Community Power, authorized under NH RSA 53-E, democratizes energy governance by empowering towns, cities, and counties to choose where their electricity comes from on behalf of their residents and businesses, work with utilities on local energy infrastructure upgrades, and provide electricity supply rates and services to all customers participating in the program.
The Coalition takes over as the default electricity provider for their communities. Under Community Power, electric distribution utilities continue to own and operate the power grid while local communities gain control over where their power is sourced from. Many more New Hampshire towns and cities have begun the process to launch their own programs in the coming months and years. A total of 43 communities have already voted to join the Community Power Coalition and are currently in the process of launching their own Community Power Programs.