New Hampshire’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requires utility companies to obtain a certain percentage of electricity from renewable energy sources.
Renewable energy sources include wind turbines, hydroelectric dams, solar panels, biomass plants, etc.
If a utility does not meet its quota for renewable energy, it must make payments to the renewable energy fund. That fund is spent on grants and rebates for individuals and businesses working on renewable energy projects.
Fromuth sponsored a similar bill in 2015. The House tabled that bill.
Supporters of a repeal note that renewable energy is often more expensive than other energy sources, so the RPS forces consumers to pay for more expensive electricity. When utilities do not buy enough renewable energy, they essentially pay to subsidize more renewable energy projects. Due to these subsidies, there is little incentive for renewable energy sources to lower their prices.
The legislature has also used money from the renewable energy fund to pay for unrelated budget items in the past.
On his Facebook page, Fromuth has called the RPS “a tax built into your electricity rates.”
Supporters of the RPS argue that the law is necessary to ensure the development of renewable energy. A shortage of natural gas in New England has caused electricity rates to spike over the winter, highlighting the need for more diverse and renewable energy sources.
Grants from the renewable energy fund also contribute significantly to the North Country economy, particularly the biomass and forestry industries.
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