Mayor's Blue Ribbon Portsmouth Energy Advisory Committee

Mill Pond substation power line

 

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Learn more about Community Power!

On Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at 3S Artspace the PEAC partnered with Portsmouth Smart Growth to host a workshop on energy supply options, specifically on the Community Power Coalition of NH's effort to give NH residents more say in the source of their power. Go to the video recording of the presentations and Q&A with the audience.

Community Power, authorized by NH RSA 53-E, allows local governments to procure electric power on behalf of their residents, businesses, and municipal accounts. Community Power empowers towns, cities, and counties to choose their source of electric energy. This program allows residents to take advantage of this pooled supply, stay with Eversource or a 3rd party supplier. Go to the flyer prepared by PEAC to explain the initiative.

Background:

At their August 23, 2021 meeting, the City Council voted to approve the creation of the Portsmouth Energy Advisory Committee (PEAC) in the form of a Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) with appointments by September 20th. The PEAC mission will be to research the risks and opportunities of a Community Power program for Portsmouth under RSA 53-E, which allows towns and cities to aggregate their customer demand and purchase electricity in bulk for savings and a more rapid shift to renewables.

At its formation, PEAC was directed to report back to the City Council with an assessment and recommendations, including whether to join the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire (CPCNH). The PEAC will guide creation of a Community Power Plan per RSA 53-E, with input from at least two public hearings, for final approval by City Council vote.

The City Council held a Work Session on August 9, 2021 to hear from the organizers of the CPCNH and town managers from Hanover and Lebanon who are participating in the program.

What is the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire?

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.

​​​CPCNH 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.  As of May 15, 2022, the Coalition is made up of eighteen municipal members and one county member.  Portsmouth became a member of the in April, 2022, joining our neighboring communities of Dover, Durham, Exeter, Newmarket and Rye.  Portsmouth is working with all the member communities to design and launch the Coalition.  For more information, please visit CPCNH.org

Go to additional answers to Frequently Asked Questions on Community Power.