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(For a different unusual approach to providing electricity in N.H., see Don Kreis’ latest column about the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, which just returned $4 million to its member customers: here.)

The Keene City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to approve a plan for a citywide community power program, which would allow Keene to purchase electricity on behalf of consumers. It’s the first city in New Hampshire to go forward with the idea. The Keene Sentinel story is here.

At launch, Keeneā€™s program will offer customers four electricity supply products, including the default product from Eversource and three additional supply options that will range from maximum cost savings to maximum renewable energy. “Over time, the Keene Community Power program hopes to incorporate more innovative ideas and partnerships to bring additional cost savings and renewable energy to the City and region at competitive rates.”

Community power programs are one of a number of changes that are being made to the traditional utility-monopoly electricity model, with the idea of improving flexibility so we can keep the lights on without destroying the planet.

Community power program was allowed by a state law in 2019. Keene’s plan still has to be approved by the Public Utilities Commission, which has alarmed people by sitting on its hands when asked to push forward energy efficiency; hopefully that won’t extend to this program.

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