Hancock Community Power Committee seeks new energy provider

By JOSH LACAILLADE

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 05-19-2023 11:18 AM

The Hancock Community Power Committee is working toward its goal to create a more self-sufficient and energy-sufficient community.

On Tuesday, the committee discussed ongoing efforts to find a new energy provider for the town after Town Meeting in March approved the town’s community power plan. Under community power, communities can combine their residents’ electricity usage and leverage the collective buying power to negotiate lower rates among energy providers.

Dublin, Jaffrey, Wilton and Peterborough are among the towns that have adopted community power. In most cases, plans offer multiple rates, depending upon how much renewable energy supply is in the mix. Most towns have elected a default rate with more renewable sources than Eversource’s default, but will also offer rates with only the state minimum renewable requirements, or a 50 percent or 100 percent renewable rate.

Eversource’s rates more than doubled from 10.7 cents to 22.7 cents per kilowatt hour last August. Even under community power, Eversource will still handle repairs, power outages and routine upgrades.

Committee members are sorting through approximately 146 different energy providers, most of which are located on the East Coast. According to committee members, the plan is to narrow the list down to four to five potential energy providers. Once the list is narrowed down, the committee will meet with the Select Board to make a final decision on which provider is most suitable for the town. 

Committee member Billy Horton said he’s hoping to find a provider that is both affordable and energy-efficient for town residents to use.

“We would like to have a provider that gives Hancock consumers the best possible rate and provides an array of options of renewables,” said Horton.

Other committee members said patience and persistence are crucial to the research process.

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“Energy is volatile. We just have to ride it out,” said Chairman Jim Callihan.

Committee Tom Villeneuve said despite the progress the committee has made in the last year, there is plenty of work still to be done.

“We’ll maybe be doing this for quite a while,” he said.

The committee’s next meeting will be Tuesday, May 30 at 1 p.m. at the Town Office.

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