The New Hampshire House appears poised to send the question of whether the state's largest utility should sell its power plants to regulators.
In 2012, lawmakers tried to force PSNH to sell its power plants outright, but that effort stalled in the New Hampshire house. So this time around they’ve written a bill that asks the Public Utilities Commission to rule on whether that sale would eventually lower electric rates.
That bill got near unanimous support during a committee hearing Thursday, including from PSNH itself.
A recent report places New Hampshire in the middle of the pack nationally when it comes to programs and policies to conserve energy, and that we’re behind the other New England states. We’ll look at the costs, regulations and the possible outcomes down the road.
The EPA is proposing stricter emissions standards for wood stoves. Manufacturers would have to build stoves that burn 80 percent cleaner than current models. And for the first time, pellet stoves would be held to the same standards. The EPA says pollution from these heaters is linked to asthma attacks, heart attacks, and stroke.
ISO New England, the region’s energy grid operator, has suspended the independent supplier People’s Power and Gas. 5,700 Granite State customers who turned to PPG for lower rates will be automatically switched to prices set by Public Service of New Hampshire.
A rift has developed among New England states over who should pay for transmission lines needed to carry electricity from renewable energy projects.
The issue is whether ratepayers across the region should foot the bill for power lines needed for southern New England. The debate has pitted Vermont against some of the more populated states to our south.
Southern New England – in particular Massachusetts and Connecticut – needs more renewable generation to meet their clean-energy mandates.
New Hampshire lawmakers say new leadership at Public Service of New Hampshire has brought a change of tone. For policy-makers this as a welcome development as they seek a solution to the steady bleed of customers from the state’s largest utility.
With its abundance and low price, natural gas has recently become New England’s preferred energy source, viewed by some as a cleaner fossil fuel. But growing demand has also raised concerns – about the reliability of supplies and possible price hikes. Also, there are long-term questions about becoming too dependent on natural gas.
Dear EarthTalk: Might another possible source for ethanol be discarded pastries from bakeries? For that matter, wouldn’t fermenting unsold bananas, oranges and apples from grocery store produce departments be able to provide an ample supply of fuel? -- Curious in Warren, PA
New research raises new questions about how green burning wood really is, given the carbon impacts of both cutting and burning trees for energy. But biomass supporters say carbon calculations are complicated…taking into account the lifecycle of trees, the sustainable practices of foresters today…and although not perfect, is far better than fossil fuels.
The heat wave that blanketed the east coast in mid-July was the longest to hit New York City in a decade. Not surprisingly, the Big Apple broke records for energy usage, as sweltering city-dwellers turned up the AC. The US leads the world in climate control – but at a significant financial and environmental cost. Leon Neyfakh is a reporter for the Ideas section of the Boston Globe – and author of the article “How to Live Without Air Conditioning”.
Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister calls for a complete re-think on energy policy. Hofmeister currently heads the group “Citizens for Affordable Energy.” He says investing in twenty-first century energies is the only stimulus our economy needs. But that won’t happen, he says, unless private industry takes the reins and government gets largely out of the way.
John Hofmeister - Founder and CEO, Citizens for Affordable Energy and former Shell Oil President.
Fifteen years ago, New Hampshire embarked on a dramatic experiment, deregulating electricity. The idea was to bring competition to power production; a sector where typically just a handful of highly-regulated utilities dominated. These days, Granite Staters are being pursued by a variety of power suppliers, from all over. And their efforts are paying off, with more and morer customers switching from the state’s largest utility, PSNH to new providers.