This post is part of a series to do a state by state in-depth analysis of current research, policy and other legislation in New England that is impacting, or has the ability to impact the geothermal industry. An in-depth analysis of Massachusetts has already been published. Vermont, Connecticut and New York are soon to follow.

There has been a huge amount of buzz in the geothermal world about the NH REC that passed because it’s the first in the country of it’s kind. There is work that needs to be done, but what is exciting is that is we can focus on creating and implementing the program NH has the ability to be a hot bed and lead the country in geothermal heat pump industry and eliminating oil usage for residential space heating.

The current budget has the ability to fund 1500+ residential geothermal projects, which has the potential to save New Hampshire property owners $4.8 million dollars (in 2012 dollars) on fuel costs annually and would spur $48 million dollars in 100% local jobs to design and install the new equipment. To give you some perspective, the law only requires that $575,000 be spent on purchasing thermal RECs. Yes, $575,000 in public funds have the ability to spur $48 million dollars in private investment and save 1,500 homeowners around $2,000 per year on heating costs, totally $3 million in fuel savings per year. That is amazing.

Here’s a review of what happened, and what we’re working on.

NH Current State of Geothermal Policy and Lobbying Bill

SB 218. You can read the whole bill here
Passed, due to go in effect January 1, 2013

SB 218 Key Bill Language

XV-a. “Useful thermal energy” means renewable energy delivered from class I sources that can be metered and that is delivered in New Hampshire to an end user in the form of direct heat, steam, hot water, or other thermal form that is used for heating, cooling, humidity control, process use, or other valid thermal end use energy requirements and for which fuel or electricity would otherwise be consumed.
272:4 Electric Renewable Energy Classes. Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 362-F:4, I to read as follows:

I. Class I (New) shall include the production of electricity or useful thermal energy from any of the following, provided the source began operation after January 1, 2006, except as noted below:
272:5 Electric Renewable Energy Classes. Amend RSA 362-F:4, I(b) to read as follows: (b) Geothermal energy, if the geothermal energy output is in the form of useful thermal energy only if the unit began operation after January 1, 2013.
No new employees shall be hired by the commission due to the inclusion of useful thermal energy in class I production.

REC Prices:

(a) Class I—[$57.12,] $55, except for that portion of the class electric renewable portfolio standards to be met by qualifying renewable energy technologies producing useful thermal energy under RSA 362-F:3 which shall be $25 beginning January 1, 2013.
(b) Class II—[$150] $55.
(c) Class III—[$28] $31.50.
(d) Class IV—[$28] $26.50.