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About Us

The Coalition

The Coalition​

The Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire is a non-profit Joint Powers Agency incorporated on October 1, 2021 — governed “by communities, for communities” — empowering towns, cities and counties across New Hampshire to:​

  1. Streamline the process for authorizing a Community Power program locally.

  2. Share services and staff support across member cities, towns and counties. 

  3. Participate in joint power solicitations and local project development opportunities. 

  4. Share knowledge and collaborate regionally on clean energy and resilient infrastructure development. 

  5. Speak with one voice at the Legislature and Public Utilities Commission on public advocacy issues related to energy and Community Power.

Coalition Membership is open to all New Hampshire cities, towns, counties and regionally operated Community Power Aggregations.

There are no upfront costs to join the Coalition. The expense of launching and operating each Member’s Community Power program will be repaid after program launch — through the electricity rates set by each Member’s governing body (town select boards, city councils and county executive committees) and the revenues received from participating customers in each program.

As of January 1, 2023, the Coalition is made up of twenty-six municipalities and one county member.

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Our Mission & Values

Mission

Our mission is to foster resilient New Hampshire communities by empowering them to realize their energy goals.

The Coalition will create value for our Community Power member municipalities by jointly contracting for services, developing projects and programs together, educating and engaging the public, and advocating for communities and customers at the Legislature and Public Utilities Commission.

Values

In carrying out its activities, the Coalition is guided by the following values:

  • Embody an inspiring vision for New Hampshire’s energy future.

  • Support communities to reduce energy costs and pursue economic vitality by harnessing the power of competitive markets and innovation.

  • Support communities to implement successful energy and climate policies and to promote the transition to a carbon neutral energy system.

  • Balance the interests of member communities who are diverse in demographics, geography and their energy goals.

  • Use our shared expertise, leadership and skills to educate, empower and build the capacities of our members.

  • Help communities demystify the power sector to make informed decisions.

  • Facilitate collaboration and teamwork by championing diversity, equity and inclusion of people and communities of all kinds.

Mission & Values
Board of Directors

Meet Our Board

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The Coalition is a partnership between the cities of Dover, Lebanon, Portsmouth and Nashua, the towns of Canterbury, Durham, Enfield, Exeter, Hanover, Harrisville, Hudson, Pembroke, Plainfield, New London, Newmarket, Rye, Walpole, Warne, Webster and Wilmot, and Cheshire County. 

Our Board of Directors is composed of local elected officials, staff and volunteers appointed to represent each member community: 

  1. Chair Clifton Below, City of Lebanon (alternate: Greg Ames)

  2. Vice Chair Kevin Charette, City of Portsmouth (alternate: Peter Rice)

  3. Treasurer Kimberley Quirk, Town of Enfield (alternate: Jo-Ellen Courtney)

  4. Secretary Evan Oxenham, Town of Plainfield (alternate: Steve Ladd)

  5. Founding Chair April Salas, Town of Hanover (alternate: Peter Kulbacki)

  6. Director Terry Clark, Cheshire County (alternate: Chris Coates)

  7. Director Christopher G. Parker, City of Dover (alternate: Jackson Kaspari)

  8. Director Mandy Merrill, Town of Durham (alternate: Nat Balch)

  9. Director Nick Devonshire, Town of Exeter (alternate: Julie Gilman)

  10. Director Andrea Hodson, Town of Harrisville (alternate: Andrew Maneval)

  11. Director Craig Putnam, Town of Hudson (alternate: Kate Messner)

  12. Director Jamie Hess, Town of New London (alternate: Tim Paradis)

  13. Director Toni Weinstein, Town of Newmarket (alternate: Steve Fournier)

  14. Director Matthew Miller, Town of Pembroke (alternate: Jacqueline Wengenroth)

  15. Director Doria Brown, City of Nashua (alternate: Deb Chisholm)

  16. Director Lisa Sweet, Town of Rye (alternate: Howard Kalet)

  17. Director Paul Looney, Town of Walpole (alternate: Dennis Marcom)

  18. Director Clyde Carson, Town of Warner (alternate: George Packard)

  19. Director Martin Bender, Town of Webster (alternate: David Hemenway)

  20. Director Steve Walker, Town of Peterborough (alternate: Danica Melone)

  21. Director William Chaisson, Town of Wilmot

  22. Director Kent Ruesswick, Town of Canterbury (Alternate: Howard Moffett)

  23. Director Jordan Applewhite, Town of Sugar Hill (Alternate: Margo Connors)

  24. Director Jim Callihan, Town of Hancock (Alternate: Robbie Hertneky)

Officers & Leadership

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City of Lebanon

Assistant Mayor & City Councilor

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Town of Enfield

Energy Committee

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City of Portsmouth

Energy Committee

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Town of Plainfield

Energy Committee

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Matt Miller
Chair, Risk Management

Town of Pembroke

Energy Committee

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Lisa Sweet
Chair, Member Operations

Town of Rye

Energy Committee

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Mandy Merrill
Chair, Regulatory & Legislative Affairs

Town of Durham

Energy Committee

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Town of Hanover

Sustainability Director

Click here for biographies of our Officers.

Officers & Leadership

Coalition Committees

Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire's Board of Directors and Committees are comprised of municipal staff, officials and volunteer community leaders appointed by our Member cities, towns and counties.

Executive Committee

Authorized to act on behalf of the Board on most matters in instances where decisions cannot wait until the next meeting of the Board.

  1. Chair Clifton Below

  2. Vice Chair Kevin Charette

  3. Treasurer Kimberley Quirk

  4. Secretary Evan Oxenham

  5. Immediate Past-Chair Chair April Salas 

Click here for biographies of our Executive Committee.

CEO and Staff Search Committee

Responsible for developing a solicitation and hiring process for Board review and approval in preparation for hiring a CEO and key staff. 

  1. Committee Chair: Director April Salas

  2. Vice Chair Kevin Charette

  3. Director Doria Brown 

  4. Director Christopher Parker

Member Operations and Engagement Committee

Responsible for working with members’ local energy committees to draft and adopt Electric Aggregation Plans and overseeing recruitment and onboarding of new members communities

  1. Committee Chair: Director Lisa Sweet

  2. Director April Salas

  3. Director Christopher Parker

  4. Director Craig Putnam

  5. Director Paul Looney

  6. Director Jamie Hess

  7. Alternative Director Jackie Wengenroth

  8. Alternative Director Jo-Ellen Courtney

  9. Alternative Director Nat Balch

  10. Alternative Director Howard Kalet

Finance Committee

Responsible for advising the Treasurer and the Board as to the investments, budget, and general fiscal policy of the Coalition.

  1. Committee Chair: Treasurer Kimberley Quirk

  2. Chair Clifton Below

  3. Director Paul Looney

  4. Director Terry Clark 

Regulatory and Legislative Affairs Committee

Responsible for monitoring and advising the Coalition and its Members regarding regulatory and legislative engagement, and also for appointing representatives of the Corporation to serve on statutory commissions, study commissions, and other boards and commissions created by the state legislature.

  1. Committee Chair: Director Mandy Merrill

  2. Chair Clifton Below

  3. Secretary Evan Oxenham 

  4. Director Clyde Carson

Risk Management Committee

Responsible for (1) understanding and advising upon enterprise risk factors and mitigating strategies and (2) overseeing our competitive solicitation for services and credit support required to launch and operate Community Power programs for our members. 

  1. Committee Chair: Director Matthew Miller

  2. Chair Clifton Below

  3. Vice Chair Kevin Charette

  4. Treasurer Kimberley Quirk

  5. Director April Salas

  6. Director Nick Devonshire 

  7. Alternative Director Jackson Kaspari

  8. Alternative Director Peter Kulbacki

Committees Under Formation

The Coalition also intends to form an Audit Committee and Governance Committee prior to the launch of Community Power programs.

Committees

Key Documents

Key Documents
Member Communities

Member Communities

As of January 22, 2023, the Coalition has twenty-six municipal members and one county member.

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Nashua
Community Power

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Pembroke Community Power

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New London Community Power

Canterbury Community Power

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Westmoreland Community Power

Wilmot Community Power

Hancock Community Power

Sugar Hill Community Power

Brentwood Community Power

Shelburne Community Power

Coalition Network & Events

The Coalition maintains a communications network across dozens of New Hampshire towns, cities and counties interested in launching Community Power programs.

The Network has remained engaged throughout our formation process by participating in the Coalition’s Joint Action events and by supporting important state policy initiatives such as the House Bill 315 compromise and regulatory rule development at the Public Utilities Commission.

Community Power Summit (June 2020)

On June 5, 2020, the Organizing Group brought together 86 attendees from over 30 cities, towns and counties across New Hampshire representing ~25% of New Hampshire's default electricity load for an interactive discussion on Community Power and the Coalition "joint powers agency" model under development. The event featured a keynote presentation by Girish Balachandran, CEO of Silicon Valley Clean Energy. Watch the introductory overview and keynote below (and download the Summit agenda here):  

Coalition Member Candidates Event (March 2021)

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As a follow-up to the Community Power Summit, over 70 local representatives of municipalities in various stages of exploring Community Power attended the Coalition's "Member Candidates" event on March 18, 2020. 

Members of the Organizing Group provided an update regarding the formation process of the agency and discussed key sections of the Coalition Joint Powers Agreement. 

Event materials are available for download here.

Network & Events

Our History

The Coalition’s ad-hoc “Organizing Group” of municipal officials and staff led the formation of Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire beginning in late 2019 and concluding with the organization's incorporation on October 1, 2021. The Organizing Group was led in part by following municipal officials:​

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City of Lebanon

Assistant Mayor & City Councilor

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City of Nashua

Energy Manager

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Rod Bouchard

Cheshire County

Assistant County Administrator for Special Projects & Strategic Initiatives

History
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Julia Griffin

Town of Hanover

Town Manager

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Town of Hanover

Sustainability Director

Early Stage Formation

Beginning in 2019, an ad-hoc work group known as the “Coalition Organizing Group” met regularly to research national best practices and explore the viability of establishing a new public power nonprofit to share services across municipalities and counties. The Coalition Organizing Group has been led by the following municipal and county staff and officials:

  • City of Lebanon: Clifton Below, Assistant Mayor; Tad Montgomery, Energy & Facilities Manager; Everett Hammond, Assistant Public Works Director

  • Town of Hanover: Julia Griffin, Town Manager; April Salas, Sustainability Director;

  • City of Nashua: Doria Brown, Energy Manager;

  • Cheshire County: Christopher Coates, County Administrator; Rod Bouchard, Deputy County Administrator;

  • Town of Harrisville: Andrea Hodson, Selectwoman and member of Electric Aggregation Committee; Ned Hulbert, member of Electric Aggregation Committee.

The Coalition has been supported by technical and community advisors including: Henry Herndon, formerly Director of Local Energy Solutions, Clean Energy NH; Dori Drachman, Co-Founder, Monadnock Sustainability Network; Samuel Golding, President, Community Choice Partners; Dr. Amro Farid, Associate Professor, Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College; and Mary Day Mordecai, Growing Edge Partners.

Members of the Coalition’s Organizing Group have:

  • Participated and often led discussions in the Community Power informal rule drafting process hosted by the Public Utilities Commission;

  • Intervened in regulatory proceedings and legislative hearings to represent the interests of communities and customers, such as by advocating for expanded data access in the Commission’s Statewide Data Platform docket (DE 19-197), and successfully negotiating the clarification and expansion of key Community Power authorities in House Bill 315;

  • Assessed power agency design best practices — in terms of community governance and competitive operating models — by interviewing elected officials, senior staff and vendors operating Community Power programs in other states (such as the Redwood Coast Energy Authority and Silicon Valley Clean Energy in California), along with representatives from public power associations (such as the American Public Power Association and the Vermont Public Power Supply Authority) and other industry experts; and

  • Hosted a virtual summit on Community Power that was attended by over eighty representatives from thirty-one municipalities, collectively representing one-quarter of the state’s default electricity market.

Execution of legal, community engagement and professional services contracts

In the second half of 2020, the City of Lebanon and Town of Hanover, in collaboration with the Organizing Group, after reviewing six responses to a Request for Qualifications, retained the law firm of Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke and worked with firm president Michael Postar Esq. and subcontracted New Hampshire counsel to draft the Coalition’s Joint Power Agreement. Duncan Weinberg are national leaders with over 50 years of public power legal guidance. In January 2021, the New Hampshire Attorney General approved our governance agreement as conforming to state law. Hanover and Lebanon are the first two municipalities to have voted to approve the Joint Powers Agreement to create the Coalition.

In February 2021, the City of Lebanon using previously secured grant funding and in collaboration with the Coalition’s Organizing Group contracted with Henry Herndon (formerly the Director of Local Energy Solutions at Clean Energy New Hampshire) and Samuel Golding of Community Choice Partners, Inc., to provide implementation support services prior to launch. Services include supporting municipalities throughout the Community Power approval and formation process, and conducting competitive solicitations for the services, credit support and electricity procurement required to launch and operate member Community Power programs. 

The Coalition will contract with qualified vendors and credit-worthy suppliers to cover the upfront cost of implementing Community Power programs, the expense of which is expected to be amortized and recovered in member program’s rates and charges to participating customers for a specified term. Similar at-risk and performance-based contract structures have been used to successfully launch and operate programs in other Community Power markets.

To ensure effective management of business operations, as well as enhanced transparency and oversight, the Coalition plans to hire a small number of qualified staff.

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