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New Hampshire's current "net-metering" law may need an update.Under the net-metering law, utilities must pay a residential customer for any excess energy the customer generates with solar panels. That helps customers pay for the cost of installing panels.However, the law also limits net-metering to 50 megawatts statewide, divided among the various utilities. Most utilities are far away from meeting that 50 megawatt quota, but the New Hampshire Electric Coop has almost maxed out its share. Coop customers who are considering solar panels now fear they may not be paid for the excess electricity they generate.On one hand, raising the 50 megawatt cap might encourage more residential solar panels.On the other hand, increasing net-metering would increase costs for customers without solar panels. Under net-metering, residential customers with solar panels don't have to pay "delivery charges," the cost of poles, wires, and other electrical infrastructure. As a result, customers without solar panels end up footing that bill.The Coop has promised to voluntarily pay many of the customers already committed to installing solar panels, but Coop board members also want to see a change in the net-metering law.How do you think New Hampshire should reimburse customers for electricity from residential solar panels? CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHPR.
The nonpartisan, nonprofit Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) serves New Hampshire citizens by providing objective information about issues and candidates; promoting the civil exchange of opinions in a variety of forums, online and in person; and connecting citizens with their elected officials.Show your support for our mission: join the LFDA community today! Membership is always free, and gives you posting privileges on our website.Want to learn more about us first? Visit our About Page to learn about our mission, our Issue pages to learn about hot topics in New Hampshire government, our Voter Resources section to learn about elected officials, or our Member Posts to see what fellow Granite Staters have to say. And don't forget to like us on Facebook!
This week New Hampshire lawmakers heard testimony on HB 269, a bill that would allow landlords to collect a security deposit in addition to first and last months' rent.Current law allows landlords to collect one month's rent and a security deposit.Bill supporters pointed out that other states - including Massachusetts - already have this law on the books. Some landlords also testified that the law would help their financial security, which in turn would help them accept more renters.Bill opponents argued the bill would make renting prohibitively expensive, increasing homelessness and the migration of young people out of New Hampshire. Average monthly rent in New Hampshire is already much higher than in other states.Do you think New Hampshire should allow landlords to charge two months' rent AND a security deposit? CLICK HERE to answer the question on our Facebook page.CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Concord Monitor.
The New Hampshire legislature is considering HB 143, a bill that would make large hydropower plants eligible for renewable energy subsidies.Right now the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard requires utilities to buy a certain percentage of electricity from renewable sources, but large hydropower is not counted as renewable. That is partly because hydropower generally does not need subsidies to succeed, and partly because large hydropower plants can disrupt the environment.Rep. David Murotake (R-Nashua), the primary sponsor of HB 143, says his bill will lower electricity rates because hydropower is readily available and relatively cheap.Sen. Martha Fuller Clark (D-Portsmouth) opposes the bill. She says that hydropower would take subsidies away from other renewable energy sources that need help to grow - and the state needs those renewable sources to diversify its energy supply.Do you think hydropower should count as renewable energy under the Renewable Portfolio Standard? CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.CLICK HERE to read coverage from NHPR.
On Thursday the Senate will hear testimony on SB 116, a bill that would allow a resident to carry a concealed firearm without a license.Right now New Hampshire requires a license for a concealed firearm, but any resident can openly carry a visible firearm without a license."People have a Second Amendment right," said Sen Jeb. Bradley (R-Wolfeboro), the sponsor of the bill. "We’re an open carry state already; I just don’t see why the distinction."Bill opponents argue that the license to carry a concealed firearm is not an undue burden on Second Amendment rights, so there is no compelling reason to change the system.Some law enforcement officers oppose the bill because it makes it harder to know who may be armed.Do you think New Hampshire should scrap the license to carry a concealed firearm? CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.CLICK HERE to learn more about gun laws in New Hampshire.CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Concord Monitor.
Did you know New Hampshire legislators have requested roughly 800 bills for 2015? As a service to our members, the non-partisan, non-profit Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) has divided those bills into forty-one browsable categories.CLICK HERE to browse bill requests by category.The LFDA will update our reports on a weekly basis.
Union Leader — 2/01/2015
Seacoast Online -- 2/01/15
While New Hampshire fishermen are struggling with federal regulations in the Gulf of Maine, state legislators are trying to give them a break with local regulations on how they store their gear at home.
In The NH News