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FAQ - Community Power & the Community Power Coalition

Local Climate Action

  • What is the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire ("the Coalition")?
    Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire, also known as “the Coalition,” is a public power agency, created by New Hampshire cities and towns as a non-profit on October 1, 2021. The Coalition is governed by a Board of Directors of elected officials, staff, and volunteers appointed by each of our local municipal and county members. The Coalition provides comprehensive services to launch and operate Community Power programs. Visit to learn more. For more general information on the Community Power Coalition of NH go their FAQ page here.
  • Is a "for-profit broker" the City's alternative to joining the Coalition?
    Yes, the alternative to joining the Coalition is for the City to use a for-profit broker to procure our power supply from the markets. There are only two brokers that are active in NH (Standard Power and Freedom Energy Logistics), with only one having launched service for communities (Standard Power), therefore, there is not a competitive market for brokers.
  • Will joining the Coalition lower utility rates?
    Yes! The Coalition has demonstrated an ability to beat utility rates in any type of market condition. The Coalition currently has the lowest rate in the state at 8.1 cents per kwh. This is a result of the sophisticated market strategies that the Coalition is able to access through their power supply contractor, Ascend Analytics. Comparatively, Standard Power is currently offering the next wave of communities that it is launching at a rate of 10.59 cents perkwh, which has prompted a complaint from New Hampshire’s Consumer Advocate, because this will actually raise consumers' electric bills.
  • Will utility rates ALWAYS be lower through the Coalition?
    It is possible that the Coalition might not ALWAYS be cheaper than utility supply, but there are structural reasons why that is unlikely. Utilities are required to procure their electric supply in a certain way. They are regulated by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and they buy their electricity in 6 month portions with the dates of these procurements set by the PUC and followed strictly by the utilities. They have no flexibility to “work the market” and buy electricity at more favorable times. The Coalition has this ability, and can purchase power in “strips” of differing lengths that are “layered” or “laddered” on top of each other. This ability means that it is overwhelmingly likely that the Coalition will beat utility rates in any given six-month period, but also on average over the course of years.
  • What's the risk in joining the Coalition?
    The risk of joining the coalition is low and municipalities can leave the coalition at any time if unhappy with rates or governance. In contrast, once a municipality signs a contract with a broker, the city or town is locked into that contract for the multiyear duration. There is no exit strategy other than to wait it out and renegotiate.
  • Do we lose local decision making authority if we join the Coalition?
    Joining the Coalition may seem like Concord is giving up some local control, but upon closer examination, this loss is insignificant. As a Coalition member, Concord will retain control over various aspects, such as local renewable energy projects, management of discretionary reserve funds, the duration of power service from the Coalition, the decision of when to launch services, and the ability to choose innovative rates and programs for residents. One key area where Concord will share decision-making is in setting rates based on market conditions. However, it's worth noting that the Coalition consistently offers more competitive rates compared to brokers. Therefore, questioning the desire for local control to potentially increase residents' electric bills may not be justified. Despite being just one voice on the coalition board, Concord can actively participate in shaping decisions through various committees. The Coalition's commitment to transparency ensures that committee meetings are open to the public, providing ample opportunity for meaningful impact on the Coalition's governance.
  • Is there an advantage to the Coalition being a non-profit versus a for-profit broker?
    The Coalition is a NH non-profit, whose only purpose is to achieve the goals of its NH member communities. As a member of the coalition, Concord residents’ dollars will only be used to fund operating expenses, or our own local programs. The brokers are for-profit. Standard Power and Freedom Energy Logistics are for-profit entities.
  • How does the Coalition compare to brokers on protecting consumers who are net-metered or enrolled in a utility battery incentive?
    The Coalition actively protects the individuals who have chosen to adopt solar or batteries. The Coalition automatically “opts-out” consumers who are net-metered or enrolled in a utility battery incentive so there is no risk of losing credits. Once the utilities solve their technical issues with reporting the net-metering data, interested customers will be able to enroll in community power without sacrificing their other supply. The brokers DO NOT actively protect consumers. Standard Power requires customers (net-metered or enrolled in a utility battery incentive) to opt out themselves, which has resulted in many consumers accidentally losing their solar bill-credits.
  • Do residents have to participate in Community Power? Can they opt out?
    You get to decide! Any customer may opt out of their Community Power program without fee or cost. ​ Customers who have already received an enrollment notice in the mail and do not choose to opt out will be enrolled onto Community Power service after 30 days (upon your next regularly-scheduled electricity meter reading date). Customers who already shop with a competitive supplier will not be automatically enrolled, but may choose to opt-in. If individual consumers are not satisfied with Community Power they can opt out at any time simply on their electrical bill or by calling the Coalition. There is no penalty or mandatory enrollment period. Customers who already shop with a competitive supplier will not be automatically enrolled, but may choose to opt-in
  • With the "opt out" model wouldn't the City be “forcing” residents to get their electricity from the Coalition?
    Concord consumers are ALREADY “forced” to use the "default service provider". Currently, the default service provider is UNITIL. Consumers can opt-out of UNITIL and choose an alternative energy supply. Historically, only 20% of consumers in NH opt out, and thus are paying higher bills than they should be as a result. By adopting Community Power the City is simply switching the "default service provider" from UNITIL to Community Power. Consumers can still opt-out and choose an alternative energy supply (including UNITIL & Eversource). There are no fees or penalties for opting out. There is an advantage to choosing a non-profit entity like the Community Power Coalition whose sole purpose is to get the best deal for its members over an investor-owned utility that is obligated to maximize profits for its shareholders.
  • Aren’t we still just getting our electricity from the grid, and not getting “greener” power?
    At first, yes, though we should note that The Coalition launches with the option to “opt-up” to greener power supply. The Coalition offers power options that are 24.3%, 33%, 50% and 100% renewable through the purchase of additional “renewable energy credits''. However, The Coalition also has a core value to “Support communities to implement successful energy and climate policies and to promote the transition to a carbon neutral energy system” and intends to create new programs and policies to enable that approach over time. By joining the Coalition, Concord can help shape those policy choices and create a market for locally provided green energy.
  • If we want to reduce carbon emissions, isn’t it bad for electricity to be cheaper?
    While making electricity more expensive might reduce some emissions in the short term by encouraging conservation, in the long-term it is harmful to the clean energy transition. While conservation is an important way to reduce emissions and we should encourage this as a cultural value through education and outreach, encouraging conservation by driving up the cost of electricity is harmful to low-income families and discourages “beneficial electrification” such as moving away from fossil fuel for heating or transportation. Expensive electricity undermines the cost-benefit of choosing an electric vehicle, and can make heating with a heat-pump prohibitively expensive. This will ensure that people in Concord continue driving gas cars and heating with oil or propane for longer than necessary.
  • Has there been any advantage to Concord taking so long to adopt Community Power?
    The one advantage of Concord not having joined the first wave of communities that launched community power aggregations is that we are able to look at the track records of the two entities that have launched so far, and make judgements about the differences. To date, the broker model does not have a proven track record of success.
  • What about green energy selection?
    The Coalition offers several levels of green energy selection that consumers can choose between monthly. Over the past year, the higher green energy selection has been LESS EXPENSIVE than the basic state-mandated green energy level of either the utility companies or the brokers. In contrast, the NH Consumer Advocate has asked the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to put some broker-run programs on hold because Standard Power is currently NOT able to offer rates lower than those offered directly through Eversource for municipalities currently coming on-line.
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