The NH Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has commenced a rulemaking process that will establish the rules under which CCA programs will operate and also define the obligations of electric distribution companies necessary to support such programs. The PUC held a public hearing on March 7, 2022, where it heard comments on a petition filed jointly by the Community Power Coalition of NH, Freedom Energy, Colonial Power, and several other CCA proponents.
CCA proponents’ petition includes a detailed set of proposed rules that were the result of many months of negotiation and collaboration among prominent stakeholders, including the Office of Consumer Advocate, the utilities, several municipalities, and PUC staff members. There are still some unresolved issues for the PUC to ultimately decide, particularly regarding the specific information that utilities will need to provide to CCA programs – information that the companies have never previously had to share with outside parties.
The timing of a final PUC order is uncertain; perhaps late summer 2022. As for actions that communities can take in parallel with the PUC process, FEL/CPG is happy to provide additional information, formally engage with communities, and plan and work through the local approval process. We can also propose a draft plan, understanding that we will certainly have to revise the draft to accommodate any requirements resulting from the PUC’s rulemaking.
It would be premature to file anything with the PUC prior to the completion of its process. Our view was confirmed earlier this year as the PUC issued decisions denying approval for CCA plans filed by three CPC communities late last year. The PUC, instead, encouraged each community to “re-submit an amended plan when the [PUC] rulemaking process is closer to completion or has concluded.”
What is a Community Choice Aggregation Program?
- A CCA Program is an optional buying group organized by a municipality or group of municipalities to benefit electric customers.
- The Program enters into an electricity supply contract for all residential and business customers currently receiving utility default service within a given municipality.
- Customers are automatically enrolled, unless they opt-out.