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NH Senate OKs big jump in net metering law

April 15, 2010


The New Hampshire Senate quietly voted to open the door for businesses to use renewable energy and sell the excess to their utility.
House Bill 1353 increases the limits of the state’s three-year-old net metering law tenfold, opening up a law mainly aimed at homeowners and small businesses to much larger companies.  Under the net metering law, the consumer who generates his or her electricity can essentially run the meter backwards. Thus, during peak hours, the consumer not only saves electricity, but can actually sell it back to the utility. At the end of the month, any excess amount generated can be deducted from future bills, or they can even request that the utility send them a check.
The current law, however, limits the size of generators to 100 kilowatts.The new law allows one-megawatt generators, enough to supply about 200 homes, or a large supermarket or a small factory with electricity.
Currently, those who build small power plants usually need to negotiate a contract with a utility to sell them the energy. Theoretically, under the net metering law, no negotiation is necessary. Just stick up your wind turbine, or spread out your array, and if you generate more electricity than you use in a given month, your utility cuts you a check or gives you a rebate.
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