09/12/2023 EC Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Bethlehem Energy Commission
Tuesday September 12, 6:00 pm at the Library
Attending: Chuck Phillips, Dan Crosby, David Van Houten, Alex Graziano, Mary Lou Krambeer, Bruce Caplain
Public: Jim Fitzpatrick, Melissa Elander, Mark Koprowski
Mission: The Bethlehem Energy Commission encourages and supports economically and environmentally sensible energy practices in Bethlehem, NH.
Minutes from August meeting – David made a motion to accept, Dan Crosby second, motion passed.
Melissa said NH Dept of Energy is offering rooftop 60kwh arrays to municipalities. Bethlehem is eligible for 95% funding. Perhaps use it for Village District?
Mark Koprowski attended to discuss the possibility of pursuing Community Power for the Town of Bethlehem. He suggests we all read the Enfield Power Agreement as a good example of how this works.
Community Power Coalition is a nonprofit organization with a mission:
To foster resilient New Hampshire communities by empowering them to realize their energy goals.
The Coalition will create value for our Community Power member municipalities by jointly contracting for services, developing projects and programs together, educating and engaging the public, and advocating for communities and customers at the Legislature and Public Utilities Commission.
It’s primary goal — serving residents of NH Towns with lower-priced electricity (no shareholders, no profit motive unlike Eversource). The program aggregates demand to establish more negotiating power for the purchase of electricity on behalf of Towns throughout NH. The idea behind Community Power is to provide ALL residents of a Town with lower-priced bulk buying of electricity. Community Power is essentially a third-party electricity provider which offers lower prices. Most residents do not take the time to sign up with a 3rd party. This would happen automatically with Community Power if Bethlehem voters chose to participate adopt this program. Not only does Community Power offer towns less expensive electricity, it provides cleaner electricity options,
What does Community Power obligate the Town to do: sign the Coalition agreement to explore the possibility. Then assign a Bethlehem resident to the Electric Aggregation Committee. (The duties of this committee offer input on the electric aggregation program.) If we decide to go forward we will need to hold two public meetings. Then put the option of signing-up for Community Power on the ballot for a vote at Town meeting.
TO DO: Before our next meeting, all Commission members please read:
- Community Power Coalition website cpcnh.org
- Enfield NH electric Aggregation plan https://www.enfield.nh.us/sites/g/files/vyhlif3106/f/pages/eap_8_enfield_community_power_6sep2022.pdf
Town solar project
TO DO: David send Mary Lou Jack’s email address, Mary Lou to connect with Barrington about what to put on website; then will talk with Mary Moritz
Village District – Barrington is doing environmental review; installation probably next Spring; did not get Northern Border Regional Commission grant. Village District will be connecting with NH DES about grants for drinking water.
Residential & commercial solar, Solarize Main Street — Four businesses have signed on to go forward. 50% grant + 30% tax credits makes this an affordable installation for businesses. Bruce is working with Gabe Chellias of Clean Energy New Hampshire on this effort.
Solarize North Country will begin reaching out to individuals and businesses in the next 4-6 weeks.
EV Chargers – Selectboard put out a request for information. Revision Energy has responded, but they have asked for an extension until final grant rules are received and compiled.
NEVI (National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure) Grant Process – NHDept of Energy webinar on 9/1 was recorded and you may now access it.
Alex Graziona and Tiffany Miller are moving to Sugar Hill so they will need to resign from the Bethlehem Energy Commission in October. We’re sorry for this loss and pleased to know they will stay deeply involved in leading Solarize North Country.
Next meeting Tuesday, October 3 6-7:00 pm at the Library. Scott will run meeting.
Zoom connection https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81583722404
Adjourn at 7:05
Post-meeting answers to a few of our questions from Mark Koprowski
- The coalition handles the cost and the administration of the mailings. Their cost is recouped, over time, in the electricity price they offer. They tack on an administrative fee. The prices presented at the meeting include this fee.
2. An agreement has been reached with the utilities and should be approved by the PUC this spring regarding unpaid bills. The utilities will pay the coalition members for any unpaid bills. It will be the utilities job to try to collect from the delinquent customers and take the hit if they don’t.