Rulemaking for Community Power Aggregations

On December 1, a coalition of public stakeholders led by CPCNH filed a petition with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission for rulemaking to implement RSA 53-E. See below for documents related to the rulemaking for Community Power Aggregations (CPA).

RSA 53-E first authorized the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to adopt administrative rules governing CPAs on 10/1/19.  In the winter of 2020 City of Lebanon Assistant Mayor Clifton Below, who now also serves as Vice Chair of CPCNH, prepared a first draft of proposal rules for CPAs, based on his 4 years experience as Chair or Vice Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules when he was a State Senator, and his 6 years as a NH PUC Commissioner.  That first draft became the working basis for a series of stakeholder meetings convened by PUC staff to further refine the proposed rules.  Consensus among stakeholders was reached on large portions of the proposed rules and PUC staff prepared an initial rules proposal for consideration by the PUC Commissioners in late 2020.  However, the PUC apparently put consideration of rules on hold once HB 315 was introduced that would have substantially changed and weakened RSA 53-E. 

Over the winter of 2021 the Community Power Coalition informal organizing group focused its efforts on securing amendments to HB 315 that actually improved the statute rather than weakening it, including a requirement for the PUC to adopt rules to implement the statute and for electric distribution utilities to propose purchase of receivables programs.  After this successful negotiation, in the spring of 2021 Asst. Mayor Below modified the PUC staff draft initial proposal to reflect the anticipated changes in RSA 53-E from the consensus version of HB 315 and met with PUC staff and representatives of Eversource, the largest and lead utility in the HB 315 negotiations, to refine the draft and try to find common ground.  

In the state budget trailer bill passed in late June, 2021, the PUC was split off from most of its former staff that were transferred over to a new NH Department of Energy (DoE) as of 7/1/21. On the day that HB 315 revisions to RSA 53-E went into effect the DoE staff petitioned the PUC to undertake rulemaking and offered proposed text based on our collaboration in the spring.

Administrative rule making can take from 3 to 6 months or more in New Hampshire, so the ability to begin providing power supply under RSA 53-E is highly dependent on the progress in adoption of these rules.

Visit the Public Utilities Commission webpage on the rulemaking at:

https://www.puc.nh.gov/regulatory/Docketbk/2021/21-142.html