In May, the small town of Harrisville, N.H. started to write the next chapter for its energy future. Harrisville voters approved the second community power plan in the state (the neighboring city of Keene was first).
With a community power plan, the town will purchase power on behalf of residents and businesses. Advocates say this system lets towns choose to get more energy from renewable resources, some of them local, and at a possibly lower cost to ratepayers. Utilities would still distribute that energy to homes and businesses. Town officials hope the community power plan will help Harrisville withstand anticipated and unanticipated service disruptions in the face of climate change.
“You don’t need to just passively pay your [power] bill once a month,” town select board chair Andrea Hodson says. “You can ask, ‘Why aren’t we getting more renewable power and why isn’t it less expensive? And what more can we do to really take control, local control over addressing climate change?’”