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Carbon Fees could pay to weatherize, insulate NH homes, save energy

NH State Representative Chris Balch

Wilton


As we seek to transition to sustainable energy sources, we often focus on production and ignore ways we might reduce consumption. However, reducing consumption is the “low-hanging fruit” in today’s energy picture. $350, 000 or 2.5% is used by the Department of Environmental Services and Public Utilities Commission to administrate the fund.

• $14,000,000 goes into the Energy Efficiency Fund • $350, 000 or 2.5% is used by the Department of Environmental Services and Public Utilities Commission to administrate the fund. • Just under $3,000,000 is distributed to utilities to fund energy efficiency programs $2,000,000 to municipal governments, schools. • Another $500,000 earmarked to low-income energy improvements. • $500,000 utilized for Request for Proposals process.

Where does the lion’s share of the money go? $10 million+ goes into rebates.

Rebates for Commercial and Industrial Consumers total $6,000,000, while Residential Ratepayers, you and I, receive about $4,000,000. The individual rebate we receive is insignificant; about 0.20¢/month, or $2.40/year.

If the funds rebated to ratepayers were allocated for their intended use, 615 NH homes could be weatherized, reducing energy consumption/emissions, and freeing up over $3,000,000 energy dollars/year! If the entire $10,000,000 were utilized for energy efficiency projects, 1,540 homes could be improved, releasing $7,700,00 energy dollars back into the NH economy.

With SB122 we have an opportunity to re-allocate RGGI funds. If we use more of these funds for their intended purpose, NH’s economy, people, and environment will benefit.


Also published in the Concord Monitor

WEATHERIZATION PROGRAMS

Katherine Peters, Eversource NH

January 4, 2019


"There were a total of 78 weatherization jobs completed in Cheshire County in the 2018 program year between both the HEA (income eligible) and Home Performance (weatherization in high energy use homes that are not income qualified) programs. Of those, 62 were in HEA and 16 were Home Performance. Statewide in 2018 there were 1,360 HEA jobs and 993 Home Performance. Note: these numbers are still being finalized as we process the final invoices from jobs completed in 2018, so they may change a bit by the time we do our final reports for the year.


In 2018 we participated in a partnership with Vital Communities to perform enhanced outreach in some towns along the border of Cheshire and Grafton Counties (Orford, Lyme, Piermont, Cornish, Plainfield and Lebanon) and we are planning a similar partnership with them again in 2019 for the towns of Andover, Canaan, Enfield, New London, Newbury, Sutton, Warner and Wilmot. This partnership is mostly focused on the Home Performance program, but does also bring in additional income-eligible jobs as well. You will also be glad to hear that the NH PUC just approved an update for our 2019 NHSaves energy efficiency programs, which provides increased funding for the income-eligible programs as well as additional funds for training and technical assistance to help the Community Action Agencies to make sure they have the workforce and capacity to continue ramping up the programs.


We coordinate closely with Kirk at OSI, as well as the Community Action Agencies, to leverage both federal weatherization funds, as well as the utility funds in order to serve income eligible customers as comprehensively as possible. There may be a few additional jobs done with federal funding that are not captured in our numbers above.


In terms of the waitlist for the low-income programs, different people seem to look at it in different ways, and the numbers are constantly evolving as people apply for assistance and other people increase their income, etc.


Here is some information that we worked on with OSI and the Community Action Agencies earlier this year. It was provided at a stakeholder meeting at the PUC in July. At that time there were 29,791 households that qualified for Fuel Assistance. 8,268 of those households had asked for weatherization services. This second number is what frequently is referred to as the “waitlist.” These numbers are statewide. Each CAA keeps their own individual list for their service area."

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