New Hampshire/EZ Policies

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EZ Policies for New Hampshire

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Download EZ Policies for New Hampshire CSV (rows 1 - 35)

Policy Place Policy Type Active Implementing Sector Summary
Air Emissions Trading Program/Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Climate Policies Yes State/Province The New Hampshire Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a carbon dioxide emissions budget trading program. The program includes a statewide annual CO2 budget allowance of 8,620,460 tons between 2009 and 2014; beginning in 2015 and ending in 2018, the budget shall decline, resulting in a 10 percent total reduction from the initial budget. The program is designed to stabilize, then reduce, CO2 emissions from CO2 budget sources within the state in an economically efficient manner. The program is designed to comply with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, to which New Hampshire is signatory.
Air Permitting for Stationary Sources (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The permitting system implements the permitting requirements of RSA 125-C and 125-I to regulate the operation and modification of new and existing stationary sources, area sources, and devices to maintain ambient air quality standards and ambient air limits for regulated toxic pollutants.
Alteration of Terrain Permits (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province This permit is required whenever a project proposes to disturb more than 100,000 square feet of contiguous terrain (50,000 square feet if any portion of project is within protected shoreland), or disturbs an area having a grade of 25 percent or greater within 50 feet of any surface water. Permitting program applies to earth moving operations, such as commercial, industrial, and residential developments. The requirements protect groundwater supplies by controlling erosion and managing stormwater runoff from developed areas.
Bond Financing Program (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Bond Program Yes State/Province BFA’s Bond Financing Program offers tax-exempt and taxable bonds for fixed-asset expansion projects. Industrial development revenue bonds can be used by manufacturers for the acquisition, renovation, and construction of new buildings, and for the purchase of land or new equipment.
Climate Action Plan (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Climate Policies Yes State/Province 29 members of Governor John Lynch’s Climate Change Policy Task Force developed a Climate Action Plan in 2009. It is aimed at achieving the greatest feasible reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while also providing the greatest possible long-term economic benefits to the

citizens of New Hampshire.

New Hampshire’s Climate Action Plan presents an opportunity to: • Spur economic growth through investment in our state’s economy of monies currently spent on energy imports. • Create jobs and economic growth through development of in-state sources of energy from renewable and low emitting resources, and green technology development and deployment by New Hampshire businesses. • Avoid the significant costs of responding to a changing climate to the state’s infrastructure, economy, and the health of our citizens. • Preserve the unique quality of life that makes New Hampshire an outstanding place to live, work, and raise a family.

The Task Force recommends that New Hampshire strive to achieve a long-term reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, consistent with the New England Governors – Eastern Canadian Premiers resolutions and the consensus recommendations of the scientific community.

To move toward this long-term goal and provide the greatest economic opportunity to the state of New Hampshire, the Task Force recommended 67 actions to: • Reduce emissions from buildings, electric generation, and transportation. • Protect our natural resources to maintain the amount of carbon sequestered. • Support regional and national initiatives to reduce greenhouse gases. • Develop an integrated education, outreach and workforce training program.

• Adapt to existing and potential climate change impacts.
Commercial & Industrial Renewable Energy Grants (New Hampshire) New Hampshire State Grant Program Yes State/Territory Note: The deadline for the most-recent round of funding under this program, which offered a total of $1.8 million in grants, was '''''June 7, 2013. This summary is provided for reference only. Contact the PUC about the possibility of future funding rounds under this program.


The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) offers grant funding for renewable-energy projects installed at commercial, industrial, public, non-profit, municipal or school facilities, or multi-family residences with at least three units. There is no stated maximum individual award.


Eligible forms of energy include electricity or useful thermal energy generated from wind, ocean thermal, wave, current, tidal, hydrogen derived from biomass fuels or methane gas, methane gas, biomass, hydroelectric, and solar technologies. Electricity generated by geothermal facilities is also eligible. Projects must utilize grant funds primarily for capital investments in new renewable energy facilities, upgrades to existing facilities to increase renewable energy production, or upgrades to existing renewable energy facilities that will qualify them as a “renewable source” for the production of renewable energy certificates (RECs) under RSA 362-F. Systems financed by third parties are generally allowed.


Projects that are eligible to apply for a rebate under any of the PUC’s renewable-energy rebate programs, including the PUC’s commercial and industrial solar rebate program, are not eligible for funding under this round.
Commercial & Industrial Solar Rebate Program (New Hampshire) New Hampshire State Rebate Program Yes State/Territory The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission initiated a new solar rebate program for non-residential applicants in November 2010. Funded by alternative compliance payments under the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS), this program supports photovoltaic (PV) and solar-thermal installations. Installations must be located in the state of New Hampshire, and the facility must be served by an investor-owned utility or rural electric utility that is required to comply with the state's RPS. (Municipal Utilities are not required to comply with the state's RPS, and therefore their customers are not eligible for this program.) Systems owned by third-parties and sited on eligible customer premises are eligible.


Applicants must first reserve incentive funding. In addition, applicants must complete a "Level II" energy audit. Only qualifying systems installed on or after November 1, 2010, are eligible. This program will operate on a year-by-year basis or until funding is exhausted, whichever comes first.


See the program web site (listed above) for application materials, budget status and additional program details.
Community Development Block Grant/Economic Development Infrastructure Financing (United States) United States Grant Program
Loan Program
Yes Federal Community Development Block Grant/Economic Development Infrastructure Financing (CDBG/EDIF) provides public infrastructure financing to help communities grow jobs, enable new business startups and expansions for existing businesses. State programs help achieve the national objective of CDBG by funding projects in which at least 51 percent of the new jobs created are made available to low and moderate income individuals. The maximum amounts awarded under the program are $1 million for new businesses locating to the state and $500,000 for existing businesses expanding in the state.
Energy Facility Evaluation, Siting, Construction and Operation (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province The statute establishes a procedure for the review, approval, monitoring, and enforcement of compliance in the planning, siting, construction, and operation of energy facilities, including transmission pipelines. The siting law and its administrative rules designated as Energy Facility Site Evaluation and reviewed by a committee, have been used to guide the review and evaluation process of natural gas transmission systems, natural-gas fired cogeneration power plants, transmission lines, new natural gas pipelines, fuel storage and distribution facilities, and electric power generation facilities capable of operating at 30 MW or greater capacity.
Enterprise Energy Fund Grants (New Hampshire) New Hampshire State Grant Program Yes State/Territory Note: This program is fully subscribed and currently is not accepting applications. Check with the program administrator regarding the possibility of future program funding.


The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund and the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) initiated the Enterprise Energy Fund in 2010. This revolving loan program, supported by State Energy Program (SEP) funds and the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), is designed to help businesses and non-profits in the state make energy improvements to their buildings. Many improvements are eligible for funding, including energy audits, whole-building improvements, equipment and appliance upgrades, lighting upgrades, heating and cooling upgrades, solar-thermal systems, and renewable energy installations, among others. The CDFA and Community Loan Fund will work with organizations to try to make the cost of financing less than the energy savings.


Funding, when available, is awarded to qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Project applications are evaluated on several criteria, including the financial stability of the business or non-profit, the age of the building for which the project is proposed, and the current energy efficiency of the building (based on an energy audit). In addition, the Enterprise Energy Fund seeks to include a wide range of business types (i.e., small and large) and promote geographic diversity


While primarily a revolving loan program, the Enterprise Energy Fund provides a limited amount of funding for grants. Grants are typically used to lower costs for non-profits that provide "essential services," and to support eligible commercial entities that invest in renewable energy systems to lower the payback period.
Enterprise Energy Fund Loans (New Hampshire) New Hampshire State Loan Program Yes State/Territory Note: This program is fully subscribed and currently is not accepting applications. Check with the program administrator regarding the possibility of future program funding.

The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund and the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority offer the Enterprise Energy Fund. This revolving loan is funded through New Hampshire's State Energy Program allocation under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The purpose of the fund it to help business owners and non-profit organizations in the state make energy improvements on their buildings. A wide range of activities are eligible for funding including energy audits, whole building improvements, equipment and appliance upgrades, lighting upgrades, heating and cooling upgrades, solar thermal technologies, and renewable energy installations, among others. The CDFA and Community Loan Fund will work with organizations to try to make the cost of financing less than the energy savings.

The application period is currently open and applicants must submit initial inquiries via the CDFA grants management website. There is no application deadline, however, funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Project applications will be evaluated on criteria including the financial stability of the business or non-profit, the age of the building where the efficiency project is proposed, and the current energy efficiency of the building (based on an energy audit). In addition, because the Enterprise Energy Fund is trying to include a wide range of business types (small, large) and geographic diversity, those factors will also be considered in funding decisions.

The Enterprise Energy Fund, while primarily a revolving loan, will have a limited amount of funding for grants. These grants will be used to bring costs down for non-profits that provide "essential services," as well as support eligible commercial entities invest in renewable energy systems to bring the payback period down.
Forestry Policies (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province New Hampshire's forests are managed by the Department of Resources and Economic Development, Division of Forests and Lands. The Department issued in 2010 its Statewide Assessment and Strategies documents:

http://www.nhdfl.org/library/pdf/Planning/NH%20Statewide%20Assessment%202010%20update.pdf http://www.nhdfl.org/library/pdf/Planning/NH%20Forest%20Resource%20Strategies%20Final.pdf

The Strategy document identifies the goal to "optimize availability of biomass for electricity and heating within sustainable limits", as originally recommended in the 2008 Agriculture, Forestry and Waste Action Climate Change Action Plan report.
Fuel Mix and Environmental Characteristics Disclosure (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Generation Disclosure Yes State/Territory In July 2010, New Hampshire enacted legislation (SB 327) requiring investor-owned utilities and electric cooperatives to disclose the energy sources of their electricity and the environmental characteristics associated with their electric service. In September 2011, the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved the content and format for a standard disclosure label to convey this information. Utilities must distribute the label to customers at least once annually, and must make the label available online and update it at least once annually.
Groundwater Discharge Permit and Registration (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The Groundwater Discharge Permitting and Registration Program seeks to protect groundwater quality by establishing standards, criteria, and procedures for wastewater discharges. The program regulates commercial discharges to groundwater to minimize improper disposal of waste and wastewater containing any industrial and commercial wastes. All discharges to ground or groundwater that are not permitted by the Subsurface Systems Bureau; over 20,000 gallons per day from a single source; discharges using other than subsurface leaching; aquifer recharge; or discharging treated contaminated wastewater.
Guarantee Asset Program (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Loan Program Yes State/Province The Guarantee Asset Program provides indirect financing to capital-intensive companies by guaranteeing up to 90% of a bank loan. To be eligible for a loan through GAP, a New Hampshire business must have at least 25 full-time employees, and provide collateral with a recent market appraisal of 1.25 times the original principal value. Forty percent of the loan may be used for working capital.
ISO New England Forward Capacity Market (Multiple States) Connecticut
Maine
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
Vermont
Generating Facility Rate-Making Yes Non-Profit Under the Forward Capacity Market (FCM), ISO New England projects the capacity needs of the region’s power system three years in advance and then holds an annual auction to purchase the power resources that will satisfy those future regional requirements. Resources that clear in the auction are obligated to provide power or curtail demand when called upon by the ISO. The Forward Capacity Market was developed by ISO New England, the six New England states, and industry stakeholders to promote investment in generation and demand-response resources to meet future demand. The results ensure that the region will have sufficient resources to meet future demand. Resources that clear in the auction are committed to provide power or curtail demand when called upon by the ISO, or risk financial penalties.
Interconnection Standards (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Interconnection Yes State/Territory New Hampshire requires all utilities selling electricity in the state to offer net metering to customers who own or operate systems up to one megawatt (1 MW) in capacity that generate electricity using solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, tidal, wave, biomass, landfill gas, bio-oil or biodiesel. CHP systems that use natural gas, wood pellets, hydrogen, propane or heating oil are also eligible.* The aggregate statewide capacity limit of all net-metered systems is 50 MW.

The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) rules for net metering, which distinguish between small customer-generators (up to 100 kilowatts) and large customer-generators (greater than 100 kW and up to 1 MW), include interconnection provisions. Interconnection for large systems is generally governed by each utility’s interconnection practices as set forth in the utility’s tariff filed with the PUC.

The interconnection provisions include timelines for the application process and inspection process, and guidance for technical studies and analysis (if necessary). Utilities generally may not require an external disconnect switch for inverter-based systems that comply with the IEEE 1547 and UL 1741 technical standards. Specific safety requirements apply to non-inverter-based systems.

Utilities may not require customers to purchase or maintain property insurance or comprehensive personal liability insurance to protect against potential liability resulting from the installation, operation or ownership of the generation and interconnection facility. A mutual indemnity agreement is generally required.

Utilities generally may not require customers who comply with these provisions to meet additional requirements, perform or pay for additional tests, or pay additional interconnection-related charges.


* CHP systems up to 30 kW must have a system efficiency of at least 80% to be eligible. CHP systems greater than 30 kW and up to 1 MW must have a fuel system efficiency of at least 65%. CHP systems may account for a maximum of 4 MW of the state’s aggregate net-metering limit.
Loan Enhancement Program (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Loan Program Yes State/Province The Loan Enhancement Program enables bank and other lending institutions to provide up to 90% fixed asset financing by guaranteeing that the portion of the loan exceeding the bank’s lending guidelines. The BFA will guarantee the portion of the loan over the bank’s lending limits, with a maximum guarantee of $250,000 or 20% of the project cost. To be eligible businesses must have at least 25 employees and display proof of adequate cash flow.
Local Option - Energy Efficiency & Clean Energy Districts (New Hampshire) New Hampshire PACE Financing Yes State/Territory Note: '''''In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has authority over mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, directed these enterprises against purchasing mortgages of homes with a PACE lien due to its senior status above a mortgage. Most residential PACE activity subsided following this directive; however, some residential PACE programs are now operating with loan loss reserve funds, appropriate disclosures, or other protections meant to address FHFA's concerns. Commercial PACE programs were not directly affected by FHFA’s actions, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not underwrite commercial mortgages. Visit PACENow for more information about PACE financing and a comprehensive list of all PACE programs across the country.

H.B 532 enacted in August 2014 included various amendments to the PACE program in regards to financing, eligibility and enforcement. These changes are effective after September 30, 2014.


Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing effectively allows property owners to borrow money from a local government to pay for energy improvements. The amount borrowed is typically repaid via a special assessment on the property over a period of years. New Hampshire has authorized local governments to establish such programs, as described below. (Not all local governments in New Hampshire offer PACE financing; contact your local government to find out if it has established a PACE financing program.)


New Hampshire enacted legislation in June 2010 (H.B. 1554) authorizing the state's cities, towns and village districts to establish energy efficiency and clean energy districts. To create such a district, a local government may incur debt (including through issuance of municipal revenue bonds, Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds or Clean Renewable Energy Bonds), establish revolving funds, provide financing and collect assessments to implement the program. H.B 532 enacted in August 2014, allows additional flexibility to obtain financing from private individuals or institutions. The act also requires the municipality to notify and get consent of any prior mortgages or liens that exist in the property before providing a municipal lien. The municipality may still choose to make a loan even if the mortgagees or lienholders do not consent, however in such case during the event of foreclosure, the municipal lien shall be extinguished. Legislation enacted in July 2011 (H.B. 144) specified that PACE liens are junior to any existing liens.


Owners of private property (zoned for residential, commercial, industrial or "other" uses) may opt in to an energy financing district after such a district has been created and may obtain funding for a broad array of energy efficiency upgrades and/or renewable energy investments that are permanently affixed on or off the property. Energy improvements must be installed by qualified contractors after an energy audit is conducted.


The minimum total amount of assessments for a single-family property is $5,000, and the maximum is $35,000 or 15% of the assessed value of the property multiplied by the municipality's current equalization ratio, whichever is less. For other properties, the maximum is $60,000 or 15% of the assessed value of the property multiplied by the municipality's current equalization ratio, whichever is less.


In November 2010, the town of Durham became the first in New Hampshire to establish a PACE financing program.
Local Option - Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Property Tax Incentive Yes State/Territory New Hampshire allows cities and towns to offer an exemption from residential property taxes in the amount of the assessed value of a solar energy system, wind energy system, or wood-fired central heating system used on the property. A solar energy system is defined as a photovoltaic (PV) system or a system that "utilizes solar energy to heat or cool the interior of a building or to heat water for use in a building" and that includes one or more collectors and a storage container. Stoves and fireplaces do not qualify.

Cities and towns may adopt an exemption provision separately for each energy source. As of September 2014, 98 cities and towns in New Hampshire have adopted a property tax exemption for one or more of these energy sources. Visit the web site above for a current list of cities and towns that offer this exemption. Contact your local tax collector or assessor for more information.
NH Acid Rain Control Act (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The Act is implemented under New Hampshire's acid deposition control program established under the Rules to Control Air Pollution in Chapter Env-A 400. The goal of the Act is to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide from stationary sources by 25% and to set an annual SO2 emissions cap on major sources to ensure continued limits on SO2 emissions.
NH Clean Power Act (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The Act calls for annual reductions of multiple pollutants, including SO2, Nox, CO2, and mercury. The Act calls for an 87% reduction in SO2 emissions and a 70% reduction in Nox emissions from 1999 levels. CO2 emissions are to be reduced to 1990 levels by the end of 2006. Act is implemented under NH Rules Env-A 2900. This act applies specifically to three existing fossil fueled power plants belonging to Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH). Voluntary expenditures by PSNH for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and conservation programs can be converted into allowances to help comply with the caps.
Net Metering (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Net Metering Yes State/Territory New Hampshire requires all utilities selling electricity in the state to offer net metering to customers who own or operate systems up to one megawatt (1 MW) in capacity that generate electricity using solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, tidal, wave, biomass, landfill gas, bio-oil or biodiesel. CHP systems that use natural gas, wood pellets, hydrogen, propane or heating oil are also eligible.*

The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) rules for net metering distinguish between small customer-generators (up to 100 kilowatts) and large customer-generators (greater than 100 kW and up to 1 MW). The rules vary slightly for each customer type.

The aggregate statewide capacity limit of all net-metered systems is 50 MW. Each utility’s individual aggregate capacity limit is calculated by multiplying the statewide aggregate cap (50 MW) by the individual utility’s share of the “total 2010 annual coincident peak energy demand.” CHP systems may account for a maximum of 4 MW of the state’s aggregate net-metering limit.

Net excess generation (NEG) is either carried forward indefinitely to the customer’s next bill as a kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit. Customers with NEG at the end of an annual period may elect to receive payment for NEG at the utility’s avoided-cost rate. Customers retain ownership of renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with generation. However, RECs associated with the net excess generation purchased by the utility at the end of an annual billing period may be claimed by the utility.

For systems up to 100 kW, a single meter that measures both the inflow and outflow of electricity internally is used. A bi-directional meter is used for larger systems. Utilities may install additional meters at their own expense.

Each utility’s net-metering tariff must be identical, with respect to rates, rate structure and charges, to the tariff that under which the customer would otherwise take default service from the utility. The PUC is authorized to develop a methodology for net metering under a time-of-use tariff.

Virtual Net Metering
SB 98 (2013) allows a customer generator to become a group host for a group of customers who are not customer generators. The kWh credits generated by a host system will be shared between the members of the group. The group of customers must be default service customers of the same electric distribution utility as the host. The host must also provide a list of the group members to the PUC and the electric distribution utility, and must certify that all members of the group have executed an agreement with the host. Any costs necessary to upgrade a utility’s information systems in order to accommodate the billing arrangement associated with virtual net metering must be paid by the group host. The PUC will be establishing the process for registering hosts, including periodic re-registration, and the process by which changes in membership are allowed and administered. Contact the PUC for more information about virtual net metering.

* CHP systems up to 30 kW must have a system efficiency of at least 80% to be eligible. CHP systems greater than 30 kW and up to 1 MW must have a fuel system efficiency of at least 65%.
New England Power Pool (Multiple States) Maine
New Hampshire
Vermont
Massachusetts
Rhode Island
Connecticut
Interconnection Yes Non-Profit Independent System Operator (ISO) New England helps protect the health of New England's economy and the well-being of its people by ensuring the constant availability of electricity, today and for future generations. ISO New England meets this obligation in three ways: by ensuring the day-to-day reliable operation of New England's bulk power generation and transmission system, by overseeing and ensuring the fair administration of the region's wholesale electricity markets, and by managing comprehensive, regional planning processes.
Qualifying RPS State Export Markets (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Renewables Portfolio Standards and Goals Yes State/Province This entry lists the states with Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policies that accept generation located in New Hampshire as eligible sources towards their RPS targets or goals. For specific information with regard to eligible technologies or other restrictions which may vary by state, see the RPS policy entries for the individual states, shown below in the Authority listings. Typically energy must be delivered to an in-state utility or Load Serving Entity, and often only a portion of compliance targets may be met by out-of-state generation. In addition to geographic and energy delivery requirements, ownership, registry, and other requirements may apply, such as resource eligibility, generator vintage and capacity limitations, as well as limits on Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) vintage. The listing applies to RPS Main Tiers only, and excludes solar or distributed generation that may require interconnection only within the RPS state. This assessment is based on energy delivery requirements and reasonable transmission availability. Acceptance of unbundled RECs varies. There may be additional sales opportunities in RPS states outside the Eastern Interconnection. REC prices in markets with voluntary goals (North Dakota, South Dakota) may be lower.
Radiological Health Program (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Safety and Operational Guidelines Yes State/Province The Statute establishes programs and procedures for regulation of sources of radiation within the state, among states, and between the federal government and the state. A regulatory program maintains and oversees performance of nuclear materials and radiation equipment.
Renewable Energy Rebate Program (New Hampshire) New Hampshire State Rebate Program Yes State/Territory New Hampshire enacted legislation (H.B. 1628) in July 2008 requiring the state's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to establish and administer a rebate program for certain renewable-energy systems. There are two steps involved in the rebate-application process. Step one is a pre-approval application; step two is the final application. Both steps are required to receive the incentive. Rebates are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

The rebate is equal to $0.75 per watt of nominal generation capacity per residential owner of an eligible facility, up to $3,750 or 50% of system costs, whichever is less. Photovoltaic (PV) systems must have a peak generation capacity of 10 kilowatts (kW) or less, must be located at the owner's residence, and must be certified as meeting UL 1703 by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory. Small wind turbines must have a manufacturer's rated maximum output of 10 kW (at wind speed of 11 m/s) and be located at the owner's residence. If there is no rated capacity at that speed, the closest speed at which the manufacturer rates the output will be considered. No roof-top systems will be accepted, and the average wind speed at the site should be at least 10 miles per hour. All wind turbines must be mounted at least 30 feet above any obstruction within 500-foot radius. Both grid-tied and off-grid systems are eligible. Equipment must meet applicable safety standards, and facilities must meet local zoning regulations. (Solar hot water systems are not eligible; the PUC has established a separate solar water-heating incentive program.)

This program is funded by alternative compliance payments from the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS). Customers of municipal utilities are not eligible because municipal utilities are exempt from the RPS. Notarized applications must be submitted in paper-copy format; no electronically submitted applications will be accepted. Rebates will be awarded to the extent that funding is available.
Renewables Portfolio Standard (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Renewables Portfolio Standard Yes State/Territory New Hampshire’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS), established in May 2007, requires the state’s electricity providers -- with the exception of municipal utilities -- to acquire by 2025 renewable energy certificates (RECs) equivalent to 24.8% of retail electricity sold to end-use customers. The RPS includes four distinct standards for different types of energy resources; these are classified as Class I, Class II, Class III and Class IV.

Class I - New Renewable Energy. This class addresses electricity or “useful thermal energy” generated by any of the following resources, provided the generator began operation after January 1, 2006, except as noted below:

  • Wind energy;
  • Hydrogen derived from biomass fuels or landfill gas;
  • Ocean thermal, wave, current or tidal energy;
  • Methane gas;
  • Geothermal systems that begin producing thermal energy after January 1, 2013;
  • Solar-thermal systems that begin producing thermal energy after January 1, 2013;
  • Eligible biomass fuels (including the biomass share of certain generators co-fired with fossil fuels);
  • Eligible biomass generators that meet emissions criteria begin producing thermal energy after January 1, 2013;
  • Solar-electric energy not used to meet Class II;
  • The incremental new production of electricity in any year from an eligible biomass, eligible methane source, or hydroelectric generating facility of any capacity, over its historical generation baseline;
  • The production of electricity from Class III or IV sources that have been upgraded or re-powered through significant investment; and
  • “Useful thermal energy,” defined as renewable energy delivered from Class I sources that can be metered and for which fuel or electricity would otherwise be consumed.

Class II - New Solar. This class addresses electricity generated by solar technologies, provided the generator began operation after January 1, 2006.

Class III - Existing Biomass/Methane. This class addresses electricity generated by eligible biomass systems up to 25 megawatts (MW), and methane gas, provided the generator began operation before January 1, 2006.

Class IV - Existing Small Hydroelectric. This class addresses electricity generated by hydro facilities up to 5 MW, provided the generator began operation before January 1, 2006, and complies with certain environmental protection criteria; and hydro facilities up to 1 MW that comply with FERC fish-passage requirements and are interconnected to the distribution grid in New Hampshire.

Electric providers must meet the standard according to the following compliance schedule:

Resource 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2025
Class I 0.0% 0.5% 1.0% 2.0% 3.0% 4.0% 5.0% 6.0% 15.0%
Class II 0.0% 0.0% 0.04% 0.08% 0.15% 0.2% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3%
Class III 3.5% 4.5% 5.5% 6.5% 6.5% 6.5% 7% 8% 8%
Class IV 0.5% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1.3% 1.4% 1.5% 1.5%


Class I increases an additional 0.9% per year from 2015 through 2025. Of the Class I requirement, qualifying renewables producing useful thermal energy must account for 0.2% in 2013 and 0.4% in 2014; the share increases annually by 0.2% from 2015 through 2025.

The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has established a renewable energy certificate (REC) program utilizing the regional generation information system (GIS) of energy certificates administered by ISO-New England and the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL). RECs from customer-sited sources are generally assigned to the system owner, and behind-the-meter generation located in New Hampshire is eligible to participate in the RPS. However, S.B. 218 enacted in 2012 essentially allows utilities credit towards the RPS for energy production by net metered Class I and Class II resources that have not been certified and registered for the production of RECs. As a result of this law, the PUC must annually calculate the amount of energy produced by such systems based on the total installed capacity and a 20% capacity factor. It must then translate this energy production into a percentage by dividing it by the total amount of retail sales of electricity that are covered by the standard. Obligated suppliers may then claim a credit against their Class I and Class II RPS obligations based on this percentage. For 2012, the Class I credit percentage is 0.0061% (compared to an overall obligation of 3% Class I resources), while the Class II credit percentage is 0.075% (compared to an overall obligation of 0.15% Class II resources).

Unused RECs from the prior two years may be used to meet up to 30% of a given year's compliance targets. Electric utilities may request to enter into multi-year contracts for RECs or electricity bundled with RECs to meet the RPS. Rural electric cooperatives may enter into multi-year contracts without PUC approval.

Generators must be sited within the New England control area, unless the source is located in a control area adjacent to the New England control area and the energy produced by the source is actually delivered into the New England control area for consumption by New England customers.

Compliance reports are due to the PUC by July 1 of each year from each electricity provider. In lieu of meeting the portfolio requirements, an electricity provider may make payments into a renewable energy fund. Class II moneys will only be used to support solar energy in New Hampshire. The rates for each megawatt-hour (MWh) not met for a given class obligation through the acquisition of RECs are:

  • Class I: $55.00/MWh in 2013*
  • Class I Thermal: $25.00/MWh in 2013*
  • Class II: $168.13/MWh in 2012*
  • Class II: $55.00/MWh in 2013*
  • Class IV: $26.50/MWh n 2013

The PUC adjusts these rates annually by January 31 using the federal Consumer Price Index. The PUC is authorized to fine a supplier that violates RPS requirements, to revoke its registration, or to prevent it from doing business in the state. The PUC may accelerate or delay by up to one year any given year’s incremental increase in Class I or II RPS requirement for good cause, and it may modify the Class III and IV requirements for calendar years beginning in 2012.

The PUC must conduct a review of the RPS program and report of its findings to the legislature in 2011, 2018 and 2025, and include any recommendations for changes to the class requirements or other aspects of the RPS.
Rules for Pipeline Public Utilities, Rules for Gas Service and Safety (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Safety and Operational Guidelines Yes State/Province Safety and operational rules pertaining to gas utilities, gas pipelines and gas service
Solid Waste Rules (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The solid waste statute applies to construction and demolition debris, appliances, recyclables, and the facilities that collect, process, and dispose of solid waste. DES oversees the management of solid waste through a combination of permitting, training , and compliance programs. The Act describes the system of permits established by the solid waste rules for authorizing construction, operation, and closure of solid waste management facilities. The act includes rules for waste-to-energy operations.
Standards for Municipal Small Wind Regulations and Model Ordinance (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Solar/Wind Permitting Standards Yes State/Territory In July 2008, New Hampshire enacted legislation designed to prevent municipalities from adopting ordinances or regulations that place unreasonable limits or hinder the performance of wind energy systems up to 100 kilowatts (kW) in capacity. Such wind turbines must be used primarily to produce energy for on-site consumption. The law identifies a several possible restrictions that would be considered unreasonable:
  • The outright prohibition of small wind turbines (i.e., wind turbines up to 100 kW) in all districts of a municipality.
  • Generic height restrictions that do not specifically address the allowable tower height or system height of small wind turbines.
  • Property boundary setback requirements greater than 150% of the system height. Smaller setback requirements are permitted by the adoption of a regulation or through a zoning variance, but the standard setback is set at 150% of the system height if a municipality declines to adopt a specific setback requirement.
  • Setting maximum noise limits lower than 55 decibels at the property line or not allowing the limit to be exceeded during short-term events such as power outages or wind storms.
  • Setting structural or design standards that exceed the applicable state, federal, or international building or electrical codes or laws.

The law requires wind turbines to comply with all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and applicable airport zoning regulations. It also includes rules and processes for the removal of out-of-service or abandoned turbines (at the owner’s expense). Finally, it includes a requirement to notify immediate neighbors upon application for a building permit.

The law also required the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning to issue a technical bulletin and develop a model ordinance to help guide local municipalities follow the standards as they develop their own ordinances. This bulletin and model ordinance were published in September 2008.* Municipalities may change the model ordinance as appropriate. Major components of the model ordinance include a procedure for reviewing proposed small wind turbines, standards for reviewing applications for small wind turbines, and abandonment procedures.

* This model ordinance was designed to provide guidance to local governments that want to develop their own siting rules for wind turbines. While it was developed as part of a cooperative effort involving stakeholders and governmental entities, the model itself has no legal or regulatory authority. The standards are required, however.
State Surface Water Discharge Permits (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province Rules apply to the discharge of all pollutants from a point source to surface waters of the state. The rule does not apply to facilities that require both a state discharge permit and a federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit under the Clean Water Act.
System Benefits Charge (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Public Benefits Fund Yes State/Territory New Hampshire's 1996 electric-industry restructuring legislation authorized the creation of a system benefits charge (SBC) to support energy-efficiency programs and energy-assistance programs for low-income residents. The efficiency fund, which took effect in 2002, is funded by a non-bypassable surcharge of 1.8 mills per kilowatt-hour ($0.0018/kWh) on electric bills. A separate surcharge of 1.5 mills per kWh ($0.0015/kWh) supports low-income energy assistance programs. Approximately $19 million is collected annually to support the efficiency fund, although the annual sum collected has varied in recent years due to changes in the surcharge rate. The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved several "core" energy-efficiency programs that receive SBC funding. All efficiency programs are administered by the state's utilities, with oversight from the PUC.

In addition, New Hampshire enacted legislation (H.B. 1490) in June 2012 converting the state's greenhouse gas emissions fund into an energy efficiency fund. As a result, certain proceeds received by the state from emissions auction proceeds will be allocated as an additional source of funding to electric distribution companies for core energy efficiency programs that are funded by SBC funds. It is unclear how much funding will be generated by auction proceeds.

Commercial programs funded by the SBC generally support new construction and major renovations, lighting upgrades, occupancy sensors, controls, air conditioning improvements, programmable thermostats, efficient motors, variable-frequency drives, energy-management systems, LED traffic lights, and custom projects. Residential programs funded by the SBC support Energy Star lighting and appliances, Energy Star new home construction, insulation, thermostats, and other efficiency measures. SBC programs for qualified low-income residents provide funding for insulation, thermostats, lighting upgrades and efficient refrigerators.

The PUC reports the results and effectiveness of the SBC annually to the state’s Legislative Oversight Committee on Electric Restructuring. These annual reports are available on the PUC's web site.
Water Conservation: Use Registration and Reporting (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province Purpose of the rules is to implement RSA 488 by establishing requirements relative to documenting the identity and location of water uses and collecting accurate water use data to support management of the state's water resources. Rules apply to any person whose cumulative incoming water or outgoing water exceeds an average of 20,000 gallons of water per day in any 7-day period, or exceeds a total volume of 600,000 gallons in any 30-day period.
Wetlands Standard Dredge and Fill Permit (New Hampshire) New Hampshire Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The purpose of the permits is to protect and preserve submerged lands under tidal and freshwaters and wetlands, both salt and fresh water, from unregulated alteration that would adversely affect the natural ability of wetlands to absorb flood waters, treat stormwater, and recharge groundwater supplies, impact fish and wildlife of significant value, and depreciate or obstruct the commerce, recreation, and aesthetic enjoyment of the public. The permits apply to both major and minor impact projects.