I want to congratulate the towns of Marlborough, Keene, Swanzey and Wilton for forming an electrical power buying group. This is great news for the consumer. The wisdom of former Mayor Michael E.J. Blastos has finally been realized and I am proud to have served on that Energy and Climate Committee.
The Cheshire County Community Power (CCP) electric energy plan (EAP) was recently approved by the PUC and we are weighing our options to; 1) get the lowest and most sustainable rates to power our facilities in Keene, Swanzey and Westmoreland; and 2) establish rules for towns within Cheshire County to join the CCP plan.
The state’s Community Power law allows towns in Cheshire County to piggy-back onto the CCP plan without having to establish their own EAP’s, and still realize the buying power of the entire Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire (CPCNH) load bank. The rates of that load bank will be announced at a press conference scheduled for Monday, March 13 at 3pm in Concord to announce electric rates for it’s first wave of towns that include Harrisville, Walpole and Peterborough in the Monadnock Region.
Because of the market confusion last year, Cheshire County scrambled to find a competitive rate that would protect us from the huge rate increase. We entered into an agreement – which has saved the County 35% in electrical costs – with Freedom Energy that ends this fall. We are currently looking into a transition strategy to join into CPCNH’s plan that promises to save us even more and could take effect sometime this summer.
I also want to thank the members of the Monadnock Energy Hub, Clean Energy NH and local community energy committees for their tireless efforts to promote the concept of community power in the Monadnock Region. Together we will bring sustainable, affordable and resilient energy sources to power our communities for decades into the future.
Terry M. Clark
Cheshire County Commissioner