Community Power Program Update: March 2023
The Town of Swanzey joined with the City of Keene and the Towns of Marlborough and Wilton to hold a Community Power competitive bid on March 7, 2023. The result of the bid was finding an exclusive energy provider to serve the combined energy needs of the four communities. Direct Energy will be the primary supplier for the four municipalities and their Community Power Program. The Program will launch in June 2023 and will last for 30 months through December 2025.
As we prepare for the June launch, the Town will reach out to its residents a number of times to inform them of potential changes in their energy provider. All customers eligible for the automatic enrollment will receive a notification letter in April 2023 explaining why they are eligible and what the proposed rates are. This letter will also explain how residents who want to opt out of Community Power Program can do so. Further details regarding the program can be found on the Community Power Webpage or by contacting Julius Peel, Land Use and Zoning Coordinator, at 603-352-7411 x112.
Community Power Committee
The Community Power Committee (CPC) was created by the Board of Selectmen in March 2021 and given the task of researching and making recommendations on establishing a Community Power Plan. Community Power refers to a program where a town purchases electricity on behalf of residential and business customers. One of the benefits of Community Power can be a reduction in utility costs because the town is pooling customers together for more competitive pricing. Other benefits include local control over where electricity is sourced and the ability to increase the amount of electricity coming from renewable energy sources.
Public Hearings and Approval of Community Power Plan
Public hearings on the draft Community Power Plan were held on November 17 and December 8, 2021. The Committee voted to approve a Final Draft of the Community Power Plan on December 16, 2021 and the Swanzey Board of Selectmen adopted the plan on January 5, 2022. The plan was considered by voters at Town Meeting in March 2022. Voters adopted the Community Power Plan at Town Meeting. The Community Power Plan was submitted to the PUC for approval in October 2022. The final approved Community Power Plan can be downloaded by clicking here.
Public Informational Meetings
On September 29, 2021, the CPC hosted two public informational meetings with the Town's consultants, Standard Power and Good Energy, to present information on the Community Power program and the results of the community survey conducted in August and September. The recording from the Zoom meeting can be viewed by clicking here.
Community Power Survey
The Committee created a survey to better understand the needs and interests of Swanzey residents to design our Community Power Plan. The survey was conducted during the months of August and September. To view the full survey results, please click here.
Understanding Community Power
Interested in learning more about Community Power? Please download the informational handout created by the Community Power Committee by clicking here.
You can also visit the websites below for more information:
- Standard Power & Good Energy Community Power
- Monadnock Sustainability Hub – Community Power
- New Hampshire Community Power Coalition
- "Keene's Path to Community Power in New Hampshire" (NHMA Town and City Magazine, Jul/Aug 2021)
Agendas and Minutes
Community Power Committee agendas and minutes are posted on the Town’s website.
The Community Power Committee charter allows the Board of Selectmen to appoint up to 5 members. Committee members each serve a 1-year term with the goal of presenting a Community Power Plan for voters to consider at Town Meeting in March 2022. The current members of the committee are:
- Bob Audette
- Cheri Domina
- Dan LeClair
- Barbara Skuly
- Bob Wyman
Comments and Feedback
If you have any comments or questions, please contact Michael Branley, Town Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-352-7411, ext. 107.