The following Resolution was passed unanimously at the Monday, December 13, 2021 meeting of the Somersworth City Council. All 9 councilors were present and voted in favor of its passage.

To view the discussion, start at 42:50 here: https://somersworth.viebit.com/player.php?hash=xzfnBYmD36VN 

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Resolution No:
CITY COUNCIL VOTE TO OPPOSE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION (PUC) ORDER    #20-092

December 13, 2021
WHEREAS, energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way for us to meet our energy needs; saving a kilowatt hour by investing in better lighting, heating, or processes typically costs around half as much as building new power plants to supply rising demand; and investing in efficiency keeps electricity rates low for all Granite Staters, even those that don’t take part in the incentive programs; and

WHEREAS, Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Order 20-092 directly contradicts the focus on energy efficiency in Governor Sununu’s 2018 update to the 10-year energy strategy; and the order significantly and negatively impacts small businesses that offer energy efficiency services in NH, and municipalities like the City of Somersworth, who just last month saved over $122,000 through the Energy Efficiency program; and

WHEREAS, this order rolls back years of progress on energy efficiency, ignoring the State of New Hampshire, energy savings goals and capping and reducing budgets; and there is already overwhelming evidence in the record that the settlement agreement in this docket is just and reasonable, serves the public interest, and is cost-effective; and

WHEREAS, the Commission’s efforts to ignore the well-established record of cost-effective energy efficiency programs in this docket is blatantly dismissive; and this order strips away opportunities for the Granite State’s most vulnerable populations to take advantage of energy efficiency programs at little to no cost, and energy efficiency programs protect lives, keep homes warm, reduce energy bills and saves municipalities like the City of Somersworth thousands of dollars that would otherwise be paid for by Somersworth property taxes.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Somersworth strongly opposes Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Order #20-092 and urges immediate reversal of this order by the PUC, and a return to the settlement agreement agreed upon by industry and statewide stakeholders, which would reinstate public interest and ensure more energy efficient progress and cost savings for Granite Staters and Hilltoppers.

Sponsored by Councilor: Approved:
Crystal Paradis

Kenneth S. Vincent

City Attorney