Community Power, authorized under NH RSA 53-E, democratizes energy governance by empowering towns, cities and counties to choose where their electricity comes from on behalf of their residents and businesses, work with utilities on local energy infrastructure upgrades, and provide electricity supply rates and services to all customers participating in the program. Community Power programs serve as the default electricity supplier within the municipality and are self-funded through the revenues received by participating customers. Local electric distribution utilities continue to own and operate the "poles and wires", and deliver electricity to all customers in the municipality. Community Power programs may also offer innovative services and rates for, such as 100% renewable premium products, time-varying rates and net energy metering generation credits for customers with solar photovoltaics.
As laid out in community power aggregation law (RSA 53-E), a Town that wishes to implement a community power aggregation program must first establish an Electric Aggregation Committee to develop an aggregation plan for its community. The Lyme Electric Aggregation Committee (LEAC) was established by the Select Board on September 1st, 2022.
The mission of the LEAC is to investigate Community Power Aggregation (CPA) for the Town of Lyme, present to the Select Board an Energy Aggregation Plan for subsequent approval at Town Meeting by citizen's vote, and, as needed, assist the Town in its implementation.
- Investigate how Lyme might benefit from a CPA using such resources as Clean Energy New Hampshire, CPA brokers and other communities in the region.
- Assist in educating the public about community power and its potential to meet Lyme's clean energy goals.
- Reach out to energy brokers to learn about their services and fees.
- Receive and analyze appropriate electrical usage data from the utilities that serve Lyme.
- Consider the advantages and disadvantages of regional and statewide collaboration in developing community power aggregation.
- Provide for public hearings prior to drafting any Community Power Aggregation Plan
- Develop a Draft Community Power Aggregation Plan for consideration by the Select Board and the legislative body (Town Meeting).