Energy Incentive Programs, New Hampshire

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Updated July 2015

What public-purpose-funded energy efficiency programs are available in my state?

In 2002, the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission allocated 1.8 mills per kWh ($0.0018/kWh) of the state’s systems benefits charge to fund energy efficiency programs implemented by the state’s investor-owned utilities. Approximately $20 million is collected annually through this program; revenues are also generated from New Hampshire’s proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The total budget for gas and electricity efficiency in 2014 was roughly $25 million across all program types (including low-income and residential). There are a number of commercial programs available for small and large businesses that are also appropriate for federal facilities.

Energy efficiency programs are offered by four New Hampshire utilities: Liberty Utilities (formerly National Grid and Granite State Electric), New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC), Eversource (formerly Public Service of New Hampshire), and Unitil. These utilities collaborate  with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission and other stakeholders on the nhsaves initiative. As part of this collaborative, each utility offers a similar set of incentive programs for business and government customers. The programs include:

  • An Online Product Catalog, primarily for lighting products, that automatically links qualified products with utility incentives. In order to use the catalog, you must be a customer of one of the four New Hampshire utilities. Product purchases (and applicable rebates) are linked with the customer’s utility bill. Any product purchased through the catalog is sold at a price that instantly reflects the rebate amount. Rebates are $3 for for LED bulbs. 

  • Large business retrofits: rebates and other incentives for energy-efficient technologies, including lighting, motors, VFDs, air compressors, and custom projects. Technical assistance is also available for custom projects. Pre-approval from the utility is generally required (Liberty Utilities, NHEC, Eversource, Unitil). 

  • New construction: technical assistance and rebates for energy-efficient measures such as lighting, motors, VFDs, HVAC, chillers, air compressors, as well as custom projects. Pre-approval from the utility is required. (Liberty, NHEC, Eversource, Unitil)

  • Small business: technical and financial assistance for small businesses (average peak demand of less than 200 kW/month) to invest in energy-efficient equipment, such as lighting, programmable thermostats, and occupancy sensors. Includes a free energy audit and payment of half of the project cost, with low-interest financing available for the balance. (Eversource, Liberty  NHEC, Unitil)

New Hampshire’s Pay for Performance program, funded out of the state’s proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (see above), incentivizes whole-building retrofit projects that achieve 15% or greater total savings in large facilities (greater than 100 kW peak demand or more than 1,000 MMBtu/yr. in heating or process load).  Total incentives of up to the lesser of $300,000 or 50% of project cost are paid in three installments – at the beginning of construction (given P4P’s approval of the plan), after construction completion, and one year following – based on the achievement of pre-defined milestones for each.

What utility energy efficiency programs are available to me?

Liberty Utilities (formerly National Grid) provides technical assistance for large business customers to identify, evaluate, and implement energy efficiency measures. Metering is provided as part of a comprehensive audit process of building systems. Liberty generally funds 50% of total project cost.

New Hampshire Electric Co-op offers SmartSTART, an "on-bill financing" alternative to pay for energy-efficient lighting and other approved energy-saving measures. Rather than paying up front, the cost for these projects is distributed on monthly electricity bills equal to 3/4 of the monthly savings realized by the customer, such that customers can acquire these measures with no net outlay.

Unitil, Eversource, and Liberty Utilities offer programs for their gas customers as members of GasNetworks, providing rebates of up to $10,000 for high-efficiency gas-fired space, food service, and water heating equipment.

What load management/demand response options are available to me?

The Independent System Operator New England Inc. (ISO-NE) offers its Demand Resources programs, which provide payments to electricity users for load reductions (of as little as 100 kW), either by reducing usage or operating on-site generation during periods of high demand.  Customers may participate in the programs through any participating member (“Market Participant”) of the New England Power Pool, such as a utility company, power marketer, competitive energy supplier, or independent curtailment service provider (CSP).  The Market Participant is allowed to aggregate load to reach the quantity qualification limit, so interested customers with less than 100 kW to offer may want to contact their utility or other eligible party. 

ISO-NE’s Forward Capacity Market (FCM) allows customers to bid their load reduction capabilities – whether constant (such as an indoor lighting retrofit project), seasonal (such as a new energy-efficient chiller plant), or dispatchable (such as a back-up generator or demand management actions) – into a forward capacity auction that allows demand-side resources to compete with supply-side ones.  Bids that are accepted are paid the auction clearing price.  These auctions take place annually for commitment periods three years in the future (though the qualification process begins roughly a year in advance). Interested facilities should contact a market participant regarding the auction schedule; in addition, market participants may have unfilled capacity commitments ahead of the next auction.

Market participation includes both active (conventional demand response, including real-time emergency generation) and passive (energy efficiency and distributed generation, including renewables) options. Active DR opportunities include:

  • Real-Time Demand Response, which provides an opportunity for customers to receive payments for responding to system emergencies.  Participants are paid a capacity payment (through the FCM) and for actual load reductions based on the real-time locational marginal price.  Customers must respond within 30 minutes and must be able to receive dispatch instructions through a market participant or their agent ("demand-designated entity"). Participating customers must also have interval metering installed at their facility.

  • Price-Responsive Demand, a real-time demand response option that allows participants to offer reductions into the day-ahead energy market.  These customers are paid for cleared reductions in the market and are expected to interrupt in real time (according to their offers).

  • Real-Time Emergency Generation, which is for generators whose federal, state, and local permitting limits operation to actual or imminent loss of external power.  Calls to participate are restricted to times when ISO-NE has instituted manual 5% voltage reductions. Real-Time Emergency Generation resources must be capable of curtailing end-use electric consumption from the New England grid within 30 minutes of receiving a dispatch instruction, and maintaining that curtailment until notified.  For an emergency generator that does not operate in parallel with the grid, the participating customer must have an interval meter installed on the generator (or entire facility). Otherwise, interval metering of both are required.

What distributed energy resource options are available to me?

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency  (DSIRE) website provides information on programs that offer incentives for renewable distributed generation.  The following programs may be of interest to federal customers: 

  • New Hampshire Electric Co-op offers rebates of up to $10,000 for solar hot water ($0.12/kBtu for modeled first production for systems with 15 or fewer collectors and $0.07/kBtu for larger systems) or photovoltaic ($0.25/wattDC) installations.  Rebates cannot exceed 25% (SHW) or 15% (PV) of the system cost.

  • The New Hampshire Public Utility Commission offers a similar slate of rebates and solar PV and thermal systems to other customers in the state on a first-come, first-served basis.  Systems must be smaller than 100 kW DC.  

Are there energy efficiency programs sponsored by the state government?

No state government programs are currently available to federal customers.  

What additional opportunities are available to me?

Federal customers whose utilities have area-wide supply contracts through GSA (e.g., Liberty), may be able to take advantage of 3rd-party financed energy efficiency projects called utility energy services contracts (UESCs). Information is available in GSA’s Energy Division Library. Federal facilities should contact their account executive to determine the level of each utility's participation.