AN ACT relative to the aggregation of electric customers.


SPONSORS: Rep. Vose, Rock. 9; Rep. Cali-Pitts, Rock. 30; Rep. Harrington, Straf. 3; Rep. Thomas, Rock. 5


COMMITTEE: Science, Technology and Energy






This bill revises the procedures applicable to municipal or county aggregators and municipal electric utilities for the aggregation of energy services.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One


AN ACT relative to the aggregation of electric customers.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  Aggregation of Electric Customers; Definition; Aggregation.  Amend RSA 53-E:2, I to read as follows:

I.  "Aggregation" means the grouping of retail electric customers to [provide,] broker[,] or contract for [electric power supply and] energy services for such customers.

2  New Paragraph; Definition; Energy Services.  Amend RSA 53-E:2 by inserting after paragraph V the following new paragraph:

V-a. “Energy services” means the provision of electric power supply solely or in combination with any or all of the services specified in RSA 53-E:3.

3  Municipal and County Authority; Agreements  RSA 53-E:3, II is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

II.(a) Enter into agreements for energy services, specifically:

(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.

(b) Such agreements may be entered into and such services may be provided by a single municipality or county, or by a group of such entities operating jointly pursuant to RSA 53-A.

4  Municipal Aggregators.  Amend RSA 53-E:3-a to read as follows:

53-E:3-a Municipal Aggregators Authorized. Municipal aggregators of electricity load under this chapter, and municipalities operating municipal electric utilities under RSA 38, are expressly authorized to aggregate [other] energy services [commonly and regularly billed to customers] as described in RSA 53-E:3. Municipalities may operate approved aggregation programs as self-supporting enterprise funds including the use of revenue bonds pursuant to RSA 33-B and RSA 374-D and loans from other municipal enterprise funds as may be approved by the governing body and the legislative body of the municipality. Any such loans from other municipal enterprise funds shall be used for purposes that have a clear nexus to the primary purposes of such other funds, such as generation, storage, or sale of power generated from sites, facilities, or resources that might otherwise be operated or produced by the other enterprise fund. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to limit the capacity of customers to select any service or combination of services offered by such municipal aggregators or to limit the municipality from combining billing for [any or all utility] energy services with other municipal services.

5  Regulation of Aggregators. RSA 53-E:4 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

53-E:4 Regulation.

I. An aggregator operating under this chapter shall not be considered a utility engaging in the wholesale purchase and resale of electric power and shall not be considered a municipal utility under RSA 38.

II. The provision of aggregated energy services under this chapter shall be regulated by this chapter and any other applicable laws governing aggregated electric power and energy services in competitive electric markets.

III. Transmission and distribution services shall remain with the transmission and distribution utilities, who shall be paid for such services according to rate schedules approved by the applicable regulatory authority, which may include optional time varying rates for transmission and distribution services that may be offered by distribution utilities on a pilot or regular basis. An aggregator shall not be required to own any utility property or equipment to provide energy services to its customers.

IV. Aggregators shall be subject to RSA 363:38 as service providers and individual customer data shall be treated as confidential private information and shall not be subject to public disclosure under RSA 91-A.

6  Financial Responsibility.  Amend RSA 53-E:5 to read as follows:

53-E:5 Financial Responsibility. Retail electric customers who choose not to participate in an aggregation program adopted under RSA 53-E:7 shall not be responsible for, and no entity shall require them to pay, any costs associated with such program, through taxes or otherwise except for electric power supply or energy services consumed directly by the municipality or county,[ or incidental costs, which may include costs necessary to comply with the provisions of this chapter up to the time that the aggregation starts to produce revenue from participating customers].

7  Electric Aggregation Plan.  Amend RSA 53-E:6, III to read as follows:

III. The plan shall detail:

(a) The organizational structure of the program.

(b) Operation and funding.

(c) Rate setting and other costs to participants, including whether energy supply services are offered on an opt-in basis or on an opt-out basis [as an alternative default service].

(d) The methods for entering and terminating agreements with other entities.

(e) The rights and responsibilities of program participants.

(f) [How net metered electricity exported to the distribution grid by program participants, including for group net metering, will be compensated and accounted for.

(g) How the program will ensure participants who are enrolled in the Electric Assistance Program administered by the commission will receive their discount.

(h)]  Termination of the program.

8  Aggregation Program  RSA 53-E:7 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

53-E:7 Aggregation Program.

I. The governing body of a municipality or county may submit to its legislative body for adoption a final plan for an aggregation program or any revision to include an opt-out aggregation program, to be approved by a majority of those present and voting.

II. Once adopted, or upon revision following adoption, the plan shall be submitted to the commission for review and the commission shall determine whether the plan conforms to the requirements of this chapter and whether the plan imposes undue risk on non-participants.

III. If the plan is adopted or once adopted is revised to include an opt-out, the municipality or county shall mail written notification to each retail electric customer within the municipality or county based upon the addresses in public records of the municipality or county for such customers. Notification shall include a description of the aggregation program, the implications to the municipality or county, and the rights and responsibilities that the participants will have under the program, and if provided on an opt-out basis, the fixed rate or charges that will apply. No retail electric customer shall be included in a program in which the customer does not know all of the rates or charges the customer may be subject to at least 30 days in advance of the customer's application and has the option, for a period of not less than 30 days from the date of the mailing, to opt out of being enrolled in such program, unless the customer affirmatively responds to the notification or requests in writing to be included in the program.

IV. Within 15 days after notification of the plan has been sent to retail electric customers in the service area, a public information meeting to answer questions on the program shall be held.

V. Services proposed to be offered by or through the aggregation shall be on an opt-in basis unless the approved aggregation plan explicitly creates an opt-out service program where the rate or price is known at least 30 days in advance of its application and, for a period of not less than 30 days from the date notification is mailed, the customer has the opportunity to opt out of being enrolled in such program, by return postcard, website, or such additional means as may be provided. Customers who are on default service provided by an electric distribution utility shall be automatically enrolled in an aggregation provided energy services if they do not elect to opt out. Customers opting out will remain on default service. Customers taking energy service from a competitive electricity supplier shall not be automatically enrolled in any aggregation program, but may voluntarily opt in. A new customer to the electric distribution utility after the notification mailing required by paragraph III shall initially be enrolled in utility provided default service unless the customer has relocated within a single utility’s service area and is continuing service with a competitive electricity supplier. On a recurring basis, but not more frequently than monthly, an aggregation may request, and the utility will provide, a list of customers within the aggregation’s territory who are not enrolled with a competitive electricity supplier for the aggregation to use in identifying any new customers.  New customers identified from such list shall be enrolled by the aggregation in the aggregation program, unless the customer opts-out of the aggregation Municipal aggregations shall take priority or precedence over any county aggregations and each such aggregation shall be responsible for assuring that customers are enrolled with the correct aggregation. Customers enrolled in a municipal or county provided energy services shall be free to elect to return to utility provided default service or to transfer to a competitive electricity supplier with adequate notice in advance of the next regular meter reading by the distribution utility, in the same manner as if they were on utility provided default service or as approved by the commission.

VI. Once adopted, an aggregation plan and program may be amended and modified from time to time as provided by the governing body of the municipality or county and approved by the commission. In all cases the establishment of an opt-out default service program shall be approved as provided in paragraph I.

VII. The commission shall adopt rules, under RSA 541-A, to implement this chapter, including but not limited to rules governing the relationship between municipal or county aggregators and distribution utilities, metering, notice of the commencement or termination of aggregation services and products, and the reestablishment of a municipal or county aggregation that has substantially ceased to provide services. Where the commission has adopted rules in conformity with this chapter, complaints to and proceedings before the commission shall not be subject to RSA 541-A:29 or RSA 541-A:29-a.

9  New Section; Billing Arrangements.  Amend RSA 53-E by inserting after section 8 the following new section:

53-E:9 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.

10  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.