"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Saturday, March 28, 2015

NH House Finance Committee Votes to Raid Renewable Energy Fund

It would appear the NH House Finance Committee has chosen to rob Peter to pay Paul. It isn't safe to keep money in any fund in Concord no matter which party is in the majority. 
House Finance Committee voted 14-9 on Thursday to deplete the Renewable Energy Fund ( Approx. $52 million) to avert budget cuts to the NH DOT. The committee also disallowed a funding increase to the University system and cut funding for repaving projects to make up for an anticipated $88million DOT shortfall. In addition, last years 4 cent gas tax increase will go to NH DOT operations  and not to municipal block grants that would be used to pave and resurface roads. There will still be a $20 million DOT shortfall which could mean less winter road maintenance. The driver for these potential shortfalls is a difference in revenue projections.
The House Finance Committee predicts revenues at about $240 million less than Governor Hassan's estimate. New revenue projections are expected next week. 
So what happened to the Republican abhorrence of raiding dedicated funds? New Hampshire has over 300 of these funds with money raised specifically for the fund’s particular purpose.
In January Sen. Forrester wrote in a letter to the Laconia Daily Sun: “When the Legislature sets up dedicated funds, and when taxpayers pay fees to support those funds, they deserve to know that their money is going towards its stated purpose.”

NH enacted a Renewable Portfolio Standard requiring each supplier of electricity in New Hampshire to obtain 24% of their electricity from qualified renewable energy resources by 2025. That is the prime mover for the NH Electric Coop to build small solar arrays, including one in Moultonboro.

According to the NH Public Utilities Commission:

The Renewable Energy Fund (REF) was created in 2007 as a component of legislation
known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) law, RSA 362:F.  The 
RPS law mandates that 23.8 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable 
sources by 2025.  
Each year electric service providers comply with the law by acquiring Renewable 
Energy Certificates, or RECs, representing electricity generated from renewable sources.  
The portfolio requirements are increased over time.
Electric service providers who cannot obtain sufficient quantities of RECs
 for a given compliance year are required to make Alternative Compliance Payments, 
or ACPs.  ACPs provide the funding for the Renewable Energy Fund, the purpose 
of which is to support thermal and electrical renewable energy initiatives.

Here are links to the rebate programs that were available through the fund: 

Since its inception in 2009, 2049 rebates were awarded, averaging $4,808. In total, 
approximately $12 million has been awarded or reserved/ in process.


Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

We need to send the CIPC to Concord! :)

Maybe we need less legislators in Concord, especially those that are just filling seats, when there.


What if, there were three, not five, Select Board members?

"Budget process
The state operates on a biennial budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[19][20]

1. Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in August.

2. State agencies submit their requests by October 1.

3. Agency hearings and public hearings are held in November.

4. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the New Hampshire State Legislature by February 15.

5. The legislature adopts a budget in May. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.

6. The biennial budget cycle begins in July.

New Hampshire is one of only six states in which the governor cannot exercise line item veto authority.[20]

In New Hampshire, the governor is required by statute to submit a balanced budget. However, the legislature is not required by law to pass a balanced budget.[20] "

FY 2016-17 NH Budget and Taxes


Snookered Again said...

Brace yourselves for the onslaught of more ugly solar arrays that WE will subsidize forever. How sweet is that!

Not Taken In. said...

The Energy Renewable Standard will go away when we get some logic back in the White House. We need electric 24 7. Unless you just use it just when the sun shines, or when the wind blows. The Stand by units to cover dark times, or no wind times can not just be switched on and off, they have to be bought up to temperature slowly. We are at less then 1 % renewable now, and look at your electric Bill. You are paying for all the infrastructure needed for this boondoggle.
If PSNH builds their 10 acre solar array in Moultonboro, have them post a bond to cover the site cleanup. The technology will go away when the subsidies go..

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

NH Electric CO-Op is putting the 12 acres array, not PSNH. We are the CO-Op, it's members. It's managed by those you elect; kind-a-like BoS. Ya, I know ...

Actually, there is no PSNH, anymore; Eversource Energy is the new name.

The only bonding the CO-OP will probably need, is for the road they need to put in onto the Arcadia property to get to their(our) property.

The technology is not going to go away. It will, probably, still be a small amount of electric production, initially, and then technology/politics/economics will decide future.

The "Rec's" (Renewable Energy Certificates) might be worth looking into.

PSNH name change