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Exeter: Vote Yes on 32 for Community Power

Town voting day is just around the corner, and we’re excited to see Exeter vote Yes on #32 for Community Power! Here’s why members of the 350NH Exeter Chapter want you to vote yes on 32:

Dear Editor,
Please vote yes on article #32 at the Exeter town election on March 8. This article allows Exeter to join other municipalities in NH to buy electricity directly from suppliers. The state of NH has set up the program to allow local control over power and is designed to lead to less expensive power as well as the ability to choose sources of electricity that cause less pollution. Currently an individual citizen can choose to get their power from any source but the process is an effort and can cost more than the  standard rate. When this article passes, the town of Exeter will join a larger group giving us more purchasing power. The community power program is designed such that the cost will never be more than the standard that most of us are currently paying. Individual households can opt out of the community program and keep their current source of power. There will also be an option for individuals to choose to pay extra for greener power. It is a win for our household budgets, a win for local control and a win for less pollution. Less pollution means healthier lungs for our citizens.Please vote yes on article #32.

– Susan Porter MD

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To the Editor:

On March 8 Exeter voters have an opportunity to approve a Community Power plan which is unanimously supported by the Select Board.  Many people don’t pay attention to their electric bills, until there is a significant increase, as there was in December. Community Power would allow Exeter, in  collaboration with other NH towns and cities,  to purchase electricity for residents and businesses with the goal of decreasing cost, improving price stability, and utilizing more renewable energy sources. Unitil would still be responsible for maintaining transmission lines and handling billing.  Residents and businesses can choose to opt out of the program at any time. Community Power programs have had bipartisan support at the state and local level, a rarity these days.  You can find more information about Community Power at https://www.exeternh.gov/bcc-cpac and vote Yes on Warrant Article #32.

– Stephanie Marshall

Member, Exeter Community Power Aggregation Committee

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Dear Seacoast Media Group Editor,

Article 32 on the March 2022 Exeter Town Warrant, to adopt and implement a Community Power Aggregation program, is an exciting opportunity for Exeter town residents and businesses, giving us the opportunity to increase renewable energy consumption, reduce electric energy created by fossil fuels, and save money.

NH is suffering from a lack of leadership on climate change issues at the state level.  Our state is lagging all other NE states in reducing our impact in the climate crisis.  It is, therefore, imperative that action and leadership come from the local level.  The Community Power Plan gives Exeter the ability to act now and increase our renewable energy usage.

One of the clear benefits of aggregating our electric energy purchases as a Town is local control of electricity costs.  Having advantageous rates locked in for several years by a Community Power Plan would avoid the current roller coaster electricity rates residents and businesses see twice a year.  Leveraging the total electric usage of town residents and businesses will give the ability to negotiate better rates and give choices in the percentage of renewable energy in the supply. I see no downside to this program at all, but should someone not want to take part, that choice is available, too.

This is also an equity opportunity for our Town.  Currently residents can choose a higher level of renewable energy in their electric supply, or they can install solar power for their home, if appropriate.  But these choices come at a financial cost.  This added cost is not accessible to all homeowners.  The Community Power Plan will give all Exeter homeowners the opportunity to use more renewable energy and less energy generated by fossil fuels – at the same or lower rate than they are currently paying.

These are reasons why I will vote Yes on Article 32 to approve the Community Power Aggregation program, and I encourage all other voters to vote Yes as well. 

– Sherri Nixon

Exeter, NH

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To the Editor:

The Exeter Community Power Aggregation Committee has created a Community Power Program for Exeter, supported by the Select Board and now before town voters as Warrant Article 32.Under state law RSA 53E, municipalities can aggregate or combine customer electric energy demand and purchase supplies as a larger group, thereby providing residents and businesses access to more stable rates  and also options for renewable energy sources at lower costs.This is an exciting and positive movement in meeting both climate and economic challenges, and has no additional costs for taxpayers or tax impact on the town.To learn more about Community Power and Article 32 you can google “Community Power Aggregation, Exeter, NH” or go to www.exeternh.gov/bcc-pac. And be sure to come out on March 8 and vote YES on article 32.

– Joan Pratt

Exeter, NH

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