NH PUC considers efficiency plan

Thursday, November 2, 2017

New Hampshire utility regulators are considering a three-year statewide energy efficiency plan proposed by several electric and gas utilities. The case could shape the near-term future of New Hampshire energy efficiency programming.

Under a 2016 settlement agreement, the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission approved the implementation of an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) beginning 2018, subject to Commission approval of the specific programs proposed to meet this standard. On September 1, 2017, utilities Liberty Utilities, Public Service Company of New Hampshire, Unitil Energy Systems, Inc. and Northern Utilities, Inc. jointly proposed a 2018-2020 Statewide Energy Efficiency Plan for approval by the Commission. The proposed 2018-2020 New Hampshire Statewide Energy Efficiency Plan document spans 369 pages, and is supported by testimony filed by the utilities.

As described by the utilities, their proposals would extend and expand existing "NHSaves" programs for another 3 years, and would add new initiatives including "a new residential energy audit option, a financing option for moderate income residents, new measure offerings in both residential and commercial programs, and multi -year energy planning to encourage long-term energy savings projects among large commercial customers."

According to the utilities, the measures implemented through the 2018-2020 Plan will save more than 4 billion electric kilowatt-hours and 7.5 million natural gas MMBtu, plus another 5.4 million MMBtus from other fuels, yielding customer energy cost savings of more than $867 million in energy costs over the life of the measures. The utilities also project that the measures "will reduce peak demand by 39 MW, which in tum will reduce costs for all customers."

The Commission has docketed the proceeding as Docket No. DE 17-136, and set a procedural schedule for the case including the filing of testimony and pursuit of possible settlement through November 2017, with hearings on the merits in early December.

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