New Hampshire Bill Amending Municipal Aggregation Authority Would Provide Utility Billing Arrangement Described By Stakeholders As "Purchase Of Receivables"
February 10, 2021 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The New Hampshire House of Representatives' Science, Technology and Energy Committee will on Feb. 12 hold a hearing on HB315 which would amend various provisions of the 2019 statute authorizing opt-out municipal aggregations for electricity
Notable is that the bill includes new section 53-E:9 under RSA 53-E. RSA 53-E concerns aggregation of electric customers by municipalities and counties (and does not include any broader retail market provisions except where interacting with the chapter's various governmental aggregation provisions)
Specifically, new 53-E:9, under the municipal aggregation chapter, would state: "Billing Arrangements. Each electric distribution utility shall offer to bill customers on behalf of competitive electric power suppliers and to pay such suppliers in a timely manner the amounts due such suppliers from customers for generation services, less a percentage of such amounts that reflects uncollectible bills and overdue payments, as approved by the commission."
This provision under the municipal aggregation chapter has been described by certain stakeholders as a "purchase of receivables" program. Notably, however, mechanics of the program would be left to the PUC, and the language is silent as to whether any such billing arrangement would be "without recourse."
HB315 would also amend the existing authority of municipal aggregations, particularly with respect to the provision of energy services.
Currently, RSA 53-E allows local governments to enter into agreements and provide for:
(1) The supply of electric power.
(2) Demand side management.
(4) Meter reading.
(5) Customer service.
(6) Other related services.
(7) The operation of energy efficiency and clean energy districts adopted by a municipality pursuant to RSA 53-F and as approved by the municipality's governing body.
HB315 would amend this provision to provide that local governments may enter into agreements and provide for:
(1) The supply of electric power and capacity.
(2) Demand side management through utility or regional system operator administered management programs.
(3) Conservation through utility or regional system operator administered conservation and efficiency programs.
(4) The operation of energy efficiency and clean energy districts adopted by a municipality pursuant to RSA 53-F and as approved by the municipality's governing body.
HB315 would also strike from the current statute language stating that, "a municipal or county aggregation may elect to participate in the ISO New England wholesale energy market as a load serving entity for the purpose of procuring or selling electrical energy or capacity on behalf of its participating retail electric customers, including itself."
These changes to the authority of local governments are opposed by municipal aggregation supporters