Dec 11, 2013 - Pilot Program Expands NH Network of Electric Vehicle Chargers
PLYMOUTH, NH – New Hampshire Electric Co-op (NHEC) is partnering with a group of its commercial members in a pilot program that is adding up to seven publicly available Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations to the state’s network.
The pilot program will help NHEC to better understand the use of and need for EV charging stations in its service territory. The number of EVs registered in New Hampshire is expected to double in 2013 and hundreds more visit from out of state, creating opportunities for the expanded development of a network of charging stations that can benefit EV drivers as well as the regional power grid.
NHEC has worked with some of its larger commercial members in the hospitality industry to install EV charging stations this year in North Conway (Red Jacket Mountain View Resort), Woodstock (Woodstock Inn Station), Plymouth (Common Man Inn) and Lincoln (Indian Head Resort). Additional charging stations are planned in Meredith (Church Landing at Mill Falls), and Jackson (Bernerhof Inn). When fully installed, they will complete a ring of stations that are all within the range limits of most EV and Plug-in Hybrid vehicles.
Gary Lemay, NHEC Renewable Energy Engineer and manager of pilot program, notes that “range anxiety” caused by a lack of available charging stations is one of the barriers to the rapid adoption of EV or Plug-in Hybrid technology.
“People with electric vehicles charge first at home, second at work and third at a destination type of location where they will be staying for one to three hours or longer,” he said. “That makes these hotels and resorts ideal locations for EV charging stations.”
Lemay estimates there are currently 13 Type II EV charging stations that are available for use by the general public in New Hampshire, but less than a handful located north of Concord. The charging stations installed as part of the NHEC pilot will put some of New Hampshire’s most scenic terrain, including the White Mountains and Mount Washington Valley, within range for most EV motorists.
By monitoring the use of the charging stations in the NHEC pilot program (both in total kilowatt-hours and actual number of vehicles), NHEC will explore the possibility of a special EV charging rate or further incentives for commercial members to install the chargers.
Nov 25, 2013 - OUTAGE UPDATE: November 25, 8 a.m.
Crews working overnight have reduced the number of members without power to approximately 1,400 at the time of this update. The largest outage is affecting approximately 1,200 members in Alton and Gilford in the Loon Cove area near Routes 11 and 11B. There is significant damage in this area, including multiple broken poles that will take several hours to repair. NHEC expects to have these members restored by dark today. Another large outage is affecting approximately 200 members in Gilmanton in the area of Middle Route off Route 140. NHEC also expects to have these members restored by nightfall. Remaining outages are smaller and scattered and will be worked on throughout the day.
Nov 12, 2013 - Ask the Energy Experts: Heating Equipment Tune-ups
Each month, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) offers you the chance to Ask the Energy Experts. Got a question about energy efficiency or renewable energy? Send your question to: email@example.com and get answers from the Co-op Energy Solutions team.
Q: Is it really necessary to get my heating equipment serviced every year? What’s the benefit?
A: Every homeowner should have their heating equipment serviced annually by certified professional. A cleaning, tuning and efficiency test will keep the equipment operating properly and costs less than $200. This will keep the equipment operating at peak efficiency. With today’s fuel prices, your energy savings alone could be over $100/year. A properly maintained system will also be safer and less subject to costly emergency repairs.
Propane systems operate cleaner than oil equipment, but an annual checkup for both should include:
· Check heat exchanger or combustion chamber for cracks, corrosion and soot.
· Test for CO leaks.
· Combustion testing.
· Test all electrical controls.
· Clean/ replace all strainers and filters.
· Replace burner nozzle.
· Repair any fuel leaks.
· Draft testing and chimney (or exhaust) inspection/ cleaning.
· Inspect distribution system.
· Check fuel input and combustion flame.
· Remove all dirt, soot or corrosion from furnace or boiler.
· Check thermostats for accuracy.
A properly maintained system will also improve indoor air quality by preventing spillage of combustion gasses into the home. It’s also a good idea to keep floor coverings and furniture away from registers and radiators to improve circulation and distribution, which will increase comfort.
Oct 21, 2013 - ATTENTION COMCAST PHONE CUSTOMERS UNABLE TO REACH NHEC
NHEC is aware of a problem affecting some customers of Comcast Home Phone Service, who are unable to reach the NHEC Member Solutions call processing center at (800) 698-2007. Comcast customers are still able to reach NHEC by dialing (603) 536-1800. Comcast customers can also reach the NHEC Outage Reporting line at (800) 343-6432. NHEC can also be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any Comcast customers who are not able to reach NHEC should contact Comcast at (800) 934-6489.
Sep 12, 2013 - OUTAGE UPDATE: 9/12/13
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 12, 2013
A power outage continues to affect approximately 800 members in Claremont, Cornish, Newport, and Plainfield. These members are served by the NHEC Cornish substation, which lost power at approximately midnight when strong storms damaged the transmission line that provides power to the substation.
NHEC is working with transmission provider Public Service of New Hampshire to make repairs and prepare the line for re-energizing. The area (Windsor, VT to Cornish) has experienced extensive damage due last night’s thunderstorms. An estimated time of restoration is not available at this time.
In the town of Lyme, NHEC crews are working numerous outages that are affecting approximately 90 members. NHEC expects power to come on steadily throughout the day in Lyme as crews make their way down a long list of trouble spots.
Sep 6, 2013 - NHEC & Northway Bank Launch Food Bank Challenge
MANCHESTER, NH - New Hampshire Electric Co-op (NHEC) and Northway Bank are joining forces to help raise a minimum of $150,000 for the New Hampshire Food Bank. Food Bank inventory levels are at record lows while statewide demand is increasing. The NHEC & Northway Bank Food Bank Challenge aims to fill those empty shelves and help the Food Bank prepare for its busiest season – the holidays and winter months.
Beginning September 1st and running through the end of December 2013, NHEC and Northway Bank are soliciting donations from members, customers, businesses and the general public. The first $80,000 donated will be matched dollar for dollar by the NHEC Foundation ($50,000) and Northway Bank ($30,000) giving the campaign an even greater boost. There are three convenient ways to make a tax-deductible donation.
2. By mail with a check made payable to the NHEC Foundation, 579 Tenney Mtn. Highway, Plymouth, NH 03264 (write Food Bank Challenge on the memo line), or
3. Stop by any of Northway Bank’s 18 branch locations throughout the state to make your donation.
“We chose September, in recognition of Hunger Action Month, to kick off the Food Bank Challenge,” said NHEC President/CEO Fred Anderson. “With the commitment by the NHEC Foundation and Northway Bank to match every dollar, even a small donation can go a long way.”
The NH Food Bank’s purchasing power can stretch one dollar to provide two meals for an individual. That means a $20 donation will provide 40 meals to the hungry. Given the dollar for dollar match, that $20 donation becomes $40 and quickly turns into providing 80 meals.
“With the downturn in the economy over the past several years, the NH Food Bank has seen a dramatic increase in the number of clients they serve on a weekly basis,” commented Bill Woodward, Northway Bank CEO. “Northway Bank has taken an active part in the fight against hunger and is committed to supporting the Food Bank. Please join NH Electric Co-op, Northway Bank, and the NH Food Bank to help end hunger in our State.”
As the state’s only food bank, the New Hampshire Food Bank distributes food to needy residents in more than 400 locations statewide.
“We are genuinely grateful for the continued generous support of the NHEC Foundation and Northway Bank,” said Mel Gosselin, Executive Director of the Food Bank. “This opportunity to double your gift and quadruple the meals we are able to provide to communities throughout the state is a perfect opportunity to support our neighbors in need. We continue to seek support as demand is out-pacing the need for assistance.”
The NHEC & Northway Bank Food Bank Challenge will run through the end of the year.
Jul 30, 2013 - Members Are Asking: Should I Switch Power Providers?
Should I Switch to a New Power Provider?
New Hampshire's electric industry is changing. As a consumer of electricity in New Hampshire, you have the power to choose your electric energy supplier. You may have seen commercials or received solicitations from a number of “third party” or “competitive” electric providers who are competing for your business. So what are some things to consider when switching to a new provider? Below is a list of frequently asked questions that we receive from members in our Member Solutions call center.
What are these companies offering and what is their relationship to the Co-op?
These third party providers are seeking to sell you electricity at a certain price for a certain period of time, should you choose not to buy it from the Co-op. They are not affiliated with NHEC in any way. You can choose your energy supplier based on price, service options, environmental considerations, or any other factors that are important to you.
If I switch providers, will I still be a Co-op member?
Regardless of your choice in power providers, NHEC will continue to be your electric distribution company and will continue to deliver the electricity to your home or business. You will continue to be a member of the Co-op and the Co-op will still distribute electricity over the same poles and wires used today, regardless of which energy supplier you choose. If the lights go out, call the Co-op as always.
If I switch providers, do I receive two bills?
It depends. Some providers will bill you directly while others have agreements with the electric utilities to bill for them. If you switch providers and are receiving just one bill from the Co-op, the state’s Electric Choice law requires us to take your monthly payment and pass along the energy portion of your payment to your third party provider. You should check with your new provider to confirm their billing arrangements. NOTE: If you are currently receiving a tiered discount as part of the state Electric Assistance Program, your discount will no longer be applied to the power portion of your bill if you switch providers.
My electric bill has a lot of charges on it. Which one is the actual energy portion?
If you buy power from the Co-op, there is a charge on your monthly bill called ‘Co-op Power.’ This is the cost of the power that you used that month. If you were to switch to a competitive provider, instead of paying NHEC’s kilowatt-hour price of Co-op Power, you would be paying the kilowatt-hour price as quoted by your new provider in your service agreement.
What is the price of Co-op Power so I can compare offers?
As of August 2013, the price of Co-op Power was 7.11 cents per kilowatt-hour.
The price of Co-op Power changes twice a year (May 1 and November 1) to reflect seasonal adjustments in the cost of power. You can check the rate in the Rates & Tariffs section
of our website.
Jun 26, 2013 - New Hampton Woman Is Recipient of Kathy Anderson Scholarship
PLYMOUTH, NH – Kimberly Fielding of New Hampton was selected as the 2013 recipient of the 3rd annual Kathy Anderson Scholarship.
Named for the late Kathy Anderson, wife of New Hampshire Electric Co-op President/CEO Fred Anderson, the scholarship was created to help a deserving New Hampshire woman who is seeking to better her life through education.
Fielding, a Co-op member residing in New Hampton, NH, with her husband and young son, will receive $2,500 to help continue her studies at NHTI in Concord where she is finishing up her final year of college and will receive a degree in Radiologic Technology. Kimberly’s career goal is to become an MRI technologist upon graduation. “She is a very motivated, dedicated and hard working student, which was not only apparent from her scholarship essay but was very clear to recognize upon meeting her in person,” said Audrey Goudie, Executive Director of the NHEC Foundation also responsible for the Kathy Anderson scholarship oversight.
“Kimberly represents the best of Kathy’s legacy,” said Fred Anderson. “Like Kathy, she’s a lifelong learner who is committed to her family, her career and her education. It’s clear to see why she was the selected by our awards committee. We wish her all the best as she works towards her degree.”
The Kathy Anderson scholarship was established in 2011 and awards one $2,500 scholarship annually to a non-traditional female learner over the age of 25 who is a US citizen, resident of NH and is a NH Electric Co-op member. The candidate must be enrolled at least part-time in an undergraduate program. Click here for more information regarding this scholarship.
The Kathy Anderson Scholarship is funded by individual contributions made in Kathy’s name to the NHEC Foundation, a 501c(3) charitable fund that has contributed over $1.9 million to non-profits, educational and health care programs in NHEC service territory since 2006.
Jun 25, 2013 - After Six Decades, a North Country Lineman Hangs Up His Hooks
COLEBROOK, NH - When young Ernie Covey started work as a lineman for New Hampshire Electric Cooperative in 1969 earning $2.27 per hour, he didn’t have the luxury of working in a bucket. That’s because there were no bucket trucks…in the whole company.
Like every lineman of the time, Covey learned to climb. And he learned quickly too. No four-year apprenticeship in those days, he recalled, just the stern direction of his first boss, Leland Shallow.
A man with a quick temper who was just as quick to forget it, Shallow was a living link to the founding days of the Cooperative in 1939. Covey recalled his first day on the job.
“He wanted somebody he could teach,” Covey said. “He talked to me a little bit about what the job entailed and said you want to try that? I said yeah! We were supposed to wait four months before I tried it but he said jeez, might as well find out if you’re going to like it or not. He had me in hooks starting off climbing trees, which are a lot harder than poles.”
After 44 years and a career that spanned six decades, it’s fair to say that Ernie Covey learned his lessons well. Having spent all that time patrolling the northern reaches of New Hampshire in NHEC’s Colebrook District, Covey is himself a living link to a time when a lineman was jack of all trades.
He read meters and built hundreds of miles of line. He cleared rights-of-way and hauled the wood home to burn. When the power went out, Co-op members called him at home. Being so far removed from the more populated areas of the state to the south, the three or four linemen working the Colebrook District were almost a company unto themselves. So it’s no surprise that when Covey first started work, outage dispatching was done by the wife of the District foreman…from her kitchen.
“They had a little radio and an antenna up behind their house. She’d take calls right there at the house and then get on the radio telling us where to go next,” Covey said.
That same practicality and Yankee ingenuity was applied to everything they did, including the jury-rigged vehicle that served as their line truck. A big A-frame was welded to the bed, allowing the men to lift and set poles with just the right application of cable and winch. It still wasn’t easy.
“It was a big improvement but you had to line the truck up perfect over the hole. And the truck was so short we had to put legs under it,” Covey said with a laugh.
With the addition of a long ladder, the old Ford also doubled as a bucket truck.
“Lee Shallow had a big heavy duty ladder. He had some big brackets welded to the A-frame and he put that big ladder on it,” he said. “We used it in the ice storm of ’69.”
The Ice Storm of 1969, Hurricane Charlie, the Fourth of July storm that peeled asphalt shingles off the roof of the District office…there was plenty of weather to contend with over the course of Covey’s career. But the one that topped them all was the Ice Storm of 1998.
“Awesome and terrible” was how Woody Crawford described the ’98 storm damage. Crawford, another NHEC Colebrook lineman who started work not long after Covey in 1975, says he figures he and his partner have either built or rebuilt all 220 miles of line in the Colebrook District. Both he and Covey have the war wounds to prove it.
Crawford has had shoulder surgery and a new hip while Covey has endured three knee replacements and shoulder surgery. Fortunately, they’ve managed to avoid serious injury.
“Just a lot of nicks and cuts, bruises and bumps,” Covey said.
That’s not to say there weren’t close calls.
There was the time the three-inch pipe he was using to drive a ground rod kicked back and blackened his eye. Or the time the downrigger nearly flattened Woody’s foot. Perhaps the most exciting mishap occurred while Covey was climbing one of the Colebrook District’s infamous cedar poles.
“We had all cedar poles up here, local cedars, untreated, and they were falling over like dominoes, sometimes while we were on them.” Covey recalled. “I think the one that caused the most concern was when I was hanging over the Connecticut River in the middle of winter. The pole was going over and I was grabbing on to a tree, the right of way was so thick, and yelling for Woody.”
Fortunately, Woody knew the routine – hustle over with the 18-foot pike pole and prop up the cedar while Ernie scrambled down and unhooked.
These days, it’s unlikely you’d find a lineman in a similar situation. For starters, there are no local, untreated cedar poles out there anymore. There’s also a lot more focus on safety, Covey said. The informal apprenticeships of his youth are a thing of the past.
“Rules, regulations and safety, they’re big demands these days,” he said. “That’s a good thing.”
Today’s linemen also have a wealth of new equipment that is saving time and effort. It’s a far cry from Covey’s first days on the job when he had to buy his own tools.
“We’ve got some nice tools these days,” he noted.
At age 68, it’s hard to imagine a day for Covey that doesn’t start at 4 a.m. with coffee and the drive to work. Will he miss it? Covey says yes, but he’s got plenty to do at home.
“I’ve got a wife at home who’s a slave driver,” Covey said with a chuckle. With much of their 18 acres occupied by lawns and flower gardens, “I’ll keep plenty busy,” he said.
Of course, there will be time for hunting. An avid outdoorsman, Covey and his son take annual elk bow hunting trips to Montana. A plaque from the state of Montana certifies that Covey took the largest bull in the state in 2010.
It seems a fitting way to enter retirement in a place where wildlife and the outdoors are the backdrop of everyday life. Since 1958 when his family moved north from Nashua, New Hampshire’s North Country has been Covey’s home.
“I don’t follow the crowds, so I fit in pretty good up here,” he said. “I enjoy it.”
Jun 12, 2013 - Incumbents Win Re-election to NHEC Board
PLYMOUTH, NH – Four incumbents won re-election to seats on the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) Board of Directors, company officials announced June 11 at the 74th Annual Meeting of Members.
Returning to the Board for three-year terms are Georgie Thomas of Intervale, Jerry Hopkins of Moultonborough, Earl Hansen of Holderness and Joseph M. “Joe” Kwasnik of Jackson. Members also voted 5,768 to 1,060 to approve a minor amendment to the NHEC Bylaws.
Board members were elected by NHEC members, who cast ballots annually to fill seats on the 11-member Board of Directors. NHEC is a democratically-controlled cooperative. All NHEC members are eligible to vote or run for election to the Board of Directors. This year, 7,297 members cast ballots.
The election results were announced at the 74th NHEC Annual Meeting of Members, which was held June 11 at Prospect Hall on the campus of Plymouth State University. Prior to the meeting, approximately 120 members and guests enjoyed a spaghetti dinner provided by Sodexo Catering. Donations raised at the meeting will be given to non-profit organizations in the Plymouth area.
Founded in 1939, NHEC is a non-profit electric distribution cooperative serving 83,000 homes and businesses in 115 New Hampshire communities.
New Hampshire Electric Cooperative 2013 Board of Directors Election Results
*Elected to three-year term
*Georgie Thomas (Intervale)
*Jerry Hopkins (Moultonborough)
*Earl Hansen (Holderness)
*Joseph M. “Joe” Kwasnik (Jackson)
Gerard J. Maughan (Tuftonboro)
Jun 4, 2013 - NHEC Annual Meeting Is June 11
PLYMOUTH, NH – The 74th Annual Meeting of Members of New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) will be held Tuesday, June 11 at Prospect Hall on the campus of Plymouth State University in Plymouth.
A spaghetti dinner, catered by Sodexo Catering, will be served starting at 5 p.m. A suggested donation of $5 will support non-profit organizations in the Plymouth area. The business meeting itself starts at 6 p.m. All Co-op members are welcome to attend. Prospect Hall is located at 8 High Street in Plymouth.
At the Annual Meeting, NHEC members will hear about the financial performance of the Co-op in 2012 and have the opportunity to pose questions to the company’s management and Board of Directors. The results of the Board election will also be announced. There will be door prizes for all attendees and a post-meeting raffle.
Members are asked to RSVP by calling 1-800-698-2007 if they plan to attend.
May 3, 2013 - Fridge Recycling Program Offering $30, Free Pickup
PLYMOUTH, NH - Members of New Hampshire Electric Cooperative have the opportunity to recycle their old refrigerators and freezers and collect $30.
A second refrigerator or freezer, especially older models, can run up the average electric bill by about $150 per year. NHSaves, a collaborative of New Hampshire’s electric utilities, has contracted with Jaco Environmental, Inc. to offer free pick-up of older fridges and freezers plus a reward of $30. Collected appliances will be safely recycled to remove various toxic components. Jaco’s process safely recycles 95% of each unit.
To schedule a pick-up, NHEC members should call 1-877-545-4113. This program is available to customers of the state’s four largest electric utilities – NHEC, Liberty Utilities, Public Service of New Hampshire and Unitil. The offer is good for a limited time only and funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
To qualify for free pick-up and payment, the device to be recycled must be:
· The second refrigerator or freezer, not the primary unit
· Installed in territory served by one of the four NHSaves electric utilities
· In working condition and owned by the resident
· 10-30 cubic feet using inside measurements
· Plugged in and running on the day of pickup
· Clean, empty, defrosted and disconnected from water lines prior to pickup. Customer must also provide clear and safe access to the appliance for the removal team
An adult, 18 years or older, must be present to sign a waiver and release the unit at the time of pickup. Your $30 check will be mailed within four to six weeks of the pickup. To enroll call toll free 1-877-545-4113 or click here to enroll online.
Apr 23, 2013 - 2013 Refrigerator Recycling Program
Are you running two refrigerators or freezers in your home? Older refrigerators and freezers typically use two times more electricity than newer models, costing you up to $150 per year just to run that second fridge or freezer. That’s a steep price to pay just to chill a few items. Recycle it - reduce your energy use and keep harmful materials out of landfills. We’ll pick it up for free and you’ll get a $30 rebate for doing the right thing!
To participate you must be a residential member of New Hampshire Electric Co-op (NHEC), and your second refrigerator or freezer must be:
· Installed in NHEC territory
· In working condition and owned by the resident
· 10 – 30 cubic feet using inside measurements
· Plugged in and running on the day of pickup
· Clean, empty, defrosted and disconnected from water lines prior to the pickup. Member must also provide clear and safe access to the appliance for the removal team.
· An adult, 18 years or older, must be present to sign a waiver and release the unit at the time of pickup
· Limit of two (2) units per member service address per calendar year
NHEC contracts with JACO Environmental Inc. for recycling. Your $30 rebate check will be mailed within 4 – 6 weeks of the pickup.
To enroll today call toll free 1-877-545-4113 or click here
. This offer is good for a limited time only.
Apr 10, 2013 - NHEC, NHSaves Named ENERGY STAR Partner of Year
WASHINGTON D.C. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) and a collaborative of other New Hampshire utilities with a 2013 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for outstanding contributions to energy efficiency services and information.
NHEC is part of a collaborative of four New Hampshire electric utilities (NHEC, PSNH, Liberty Utilities, Unitil) that provides a wide range of energy efficiency programs
for New Hampshire residents and businesses under the NHSaves brand name. For its part in providing energy efficiency programs and solutions to its members, NHEC was recognized at an awards ceremony held March 26 in Washington, D.C.
NHEC and the collaborative were honored specifically for the delivery of the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program
and the ENERGY STAR Homes program
. Since its start in 2009, the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program has weatherized more than 2,000 New Hampshire homes and saved more than 42 million lifetime kilowatt-hours of electricity and 956,000 lifetime MMBTUs from oil, natural gas, kerosene, coal and wood.
NHEC and the collaborative have also helped more than 6,000 new homes achieve the ENERGY STAR certification for energy efficiency since 2002. Based on U.S. Census data, more than one in three new NH homes earn the ENERGY STAR label. Over the past 10 years, the New Hampshire ENERGY STAR Homes Program has been the driving force behind the ENERGY STAR Home market share growing from 2% in 2002-2003 to 36% of new homes built in 2011.
The ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Awards for Energy Efficiency Program Delivery are selected from the nearly 20,000 organizations that participate in the ENERGY STAR program. ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. EPA in 1992 as a partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Over the last 20 years, with help from ENERGY STAR, American families and businesses have saved more than $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
NHEC is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving 83,000 homes and businesses in New Hampshire.
Mar 22, 2013 - Refurbished Substation Is New Lifeline for Downtown Plymouth
PLYMOUTH, NH – Major upgrades to New Hampshire Electric Co-op’s (NHEC) Green Street substation were designed to greatly improve the reliability of electric service to downtown Plymouth and Plymouth State University.
The rebuilt substation, which went online March 14, provides electricity at 12.47 kilovolts (kv) to the town of Plymouth in an area that runs from Route 175 in Holderness north to McDonalds on Route 3 and west to the end of Highland Street where it meets Tenney Mountain Highway. It also serves all of Plymouth State University’s facilities.
Prior to the recent renovations, the Green Street substation provided power at 5 kv and was not connected to other NHEC substations in the area. The refurbished substation has more than doubled that voltage capacity and is now connected to NHEC substations in Bridgewater and Fairgrounds Road in Plymouth. This means that for the first time, NHEC will be able to reroute power to downtown Plymouth in the event of a loss of power to the Green Street substation, or when the substation is de-energized for maintenance. Work scheduled for this summer will also tie NHEC’s Rumney substation to the Green Street, Fairgrounds Road and Bridgewater substations.
“The work at Green Street represents a major investment in the reliability of electric service to downtown Plymouth,” said James Bakas, NHEC Vice President of Operations & Engineering. “Power outages have an economic impact, particularly in a commercial area like downtown Plymouth, so we’re glad to complete this project which should reduce the number and duration of outages there.”
Work at the Green Street site included a significant expansion of the substation’s footprint and the installation of all new transformers and voltage regulators. Due to the proximity of the substation to the Pemigewasset River, a number of environmental measures were taken, including the construction of a retaining wall on the side that faces the river. Like other NHEC substations, the Green Street facility also has an oil containment system that includes a polypropylene membrane and a 2,000 gallon catch basin beneath the new transformers.
Work on the project was completed by I C Reed & Sons of Raymond, NH, NHEC’s primary contractor for substation construction.
NHEC is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving 83,000 homes and businesses in 115 New Hampshire communities.
Feb 11, 2013 - Energy Expert: Hybrid Car Options?
Each month, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) offers you the chance to Ask the Energy Expert. Got a question about energy efficiency or renewable energy? Send your question to: email@example.com and get answers from the Co-op Energy Solutions team.
This month’s Energy Expert is Gary Lemay. Gary is a Renewable Energy Engineer at NHEC. He’s also the proud owner of a Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid car.
Q: “I am seeing more and more options for fuel-efficient cars. I’m currently in the market for a new car and wondered what you thought of the options out there for the best combination of mileage, cost and convenience”
A: Just a few years ago there were only one or two choices in light vehicle drive train options. About 99% of the light vehicle drive trains were gasoline driven with a few diesel driven options. Today there are three to five different drive train options available. We still have gasoline and diesel options that top out at a maximum of about 40 miles-per-gallon, but there are also hybrid vehicles (HEV), Plug-in Hybrids (PHEV) and all-electric vehicles (EV).
The new HEV, PHEV and EV vehicles provide many opportunities for today’s car buyer to drive more miles for less fuel but each has been designed with unique characteristics. Car buyers need to know their driving needs and habits and match their needs to the right vehicle. Here are some considerations…
First, using electricity to power your vehicle is less than half the cost of using a gas-driven vehicle. Plus, most electricity in New England is produced locally and usually from domestic fuels. That said, if you have not planned well ,you may not love your straight electric vehicle (EV) so much if it runs out of charge after 70 miles.
So what’s out there for options? Below are some definitions, benefits and drawbacks of the various types of vehicle on the market today.
HEVs are powered by an internal combustion engine or other propulsion source that runs on conventional fuel and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. The battery is charged through regenerative braking and the internal combustion engine and it is not plugged in to charge.
Benefits – Typically can be driven across country with refueling stops; mileage per gallon can be 50 to 100% better than conventional gas vehicles; reduced air emissions; generally lower maintenance costs; usually a longer power train and/or battery warranty.
Drawbacks – Usually, but not always, a higher initial purchase price; driving characteristics may be slightly different than conventional vehicles; sometimes they look unconventional; four or all wheel drive vehicle options are limited.
PHEVs are powered by an internal combustion engine that can run on conventional fuel and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. The vehicle operates just like a hybrid vehicle but can also be plugged into an electric power source to charge the battery to a higher degree almost like a second battery. Some PHEVs are also called extended range electric vehicles (EREVs).
Benefits – Can be driven cross -country with refueling stops but can also be driven on electric alone with no gasoline usage; can be recharged at times when lower electric rates are available; blended electric and gas mileage per gallon can be another 50 to 100% better than standard hybrid gas vehicles; reduced air emissions; runs quiet; generally lower maintenance costs; longer power train or battery warranty; can be recharged with home renewable energy sources. These vehicles could be the transitional bridge between conventionally fueled vehicles and all electric vehicles.-
Drawbacks – Usually a higher initial purchase price. Driving characteristics may be slightly different than conventional vehicles. Sometimes they look unconventional. Four or all wheel drive vehicle options are very limited at the present.
EVs use a battery to store the electric energy that powers the motor. EV batteries are charged by plugging the vehicle into an electric power source and they do have a regenerative drive like a hybrid. EVs are sometimes referred to as battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
Benefits: No gasoline usage; can be recharged at times when lower electric rates are available; no air emissions (except at the generator site which is usually government monitored and regulated); generally lower maintenance costs; longer power train or battery warranty; very quiet when running; can be recharged with home renewable energy sources.
Drawbacks: Usually a higher initial purchase price; limited range. EVs have an average range of 60-80 miles per charge, making them impractical for long journeys (unless you plan your recharging stops well). In cold climates heating and defrosting is from battery power and can reduce vehicle range. There are electric vehicles that can go 200 to 300 miles but you need to purchase the larger battery. However, the average American drives about 30 miles round trip to and from work each day, so from a commuting standpoint, an EV may be the right choice, especially as a second vehicle.
Feb 7, 2013 - FEBRUARY 8 WINTER STORM WARNING: PREPARE NOW FOR POWER OUTAGES
PLYMOUTH, NH – Heavy snow and high winds are expected over much of New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) service territory from the morning of Friday, February 8 to the afternoon of Saturday February 9. NHEC is preparing for possible power outages and encourages its members to do the same.
NHEC operating districts in 10 locations around the state are stocked with emergency supplies. In addition to its full complement of line crews, NHEC has secured additional contract line and tree crews to assist in the event of significant power outages. NHEC is a member of several mutual aid groups and can draw additional assistance, if necessary, from public power companies across the northeast.
REPORT A POWER OUTAGE: 1-800-343-6432
NHEC encourages its member to prepare for possible outages as well by stocking up on the following:
· Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
· Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
· Flashlight (Do not use candles during a power outage due to the extreme risk of fire.)
· Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
· Extra batteries
· First aid kit
· Medications (7-day supply) and required medical items
· Multi-purpose tool
· Sanitation and personal hygiene items
· Cell phone with chargers (charge phone before storm hits)
· Family and emergency contact information
· Extra cash
· If someone in your home is dependent on electric-powered, life-sustaining equipment, remember to include backup power in your evacuation plan
· Keep a non-cordless telephone in your home. It is likely to work even when the power is out.
Jan 28, 2013 - Woodstock Inn, NHEC Brew Up Big Energy Savings
Woodstock Inn Station Owner Scott Rice
NORTH WOODSTOCK, NH - Powered by more than $100,000 in energy efficiency incentives from New Hampshire Electric Co-op (NHEC), the Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery is putting the finishing touches on a major expansion.
Already the largest employer in Woodstock with 100 employees in season, the Woodstock Inn Station continues to grow with the construction of a 13,000 square foot addition that has allowed owner Scott Rice to open a new function room and move his successful brewing operation in-house.
A gleaming new 30-barrel brewery is set to start brewing Woodstock Inn’s popular line of classic and seasonal beers inside the building that bears its name. Until now, the Inn’s bottled beer was contract brewed by the Shipyard Brewery in Portland, Maine. Moving the brewing operation to North Woodstock, plus the addition of the new function room, will create an additional 12 to 15 jobs, Rice said.
Throughout the two-year project, NHEC has provided energy efficiency incentives and expertise that will result in annual energy savings of $28,000.
“From the very beginning NHEC has been an indispensable partner in planning for our electric needs,” Rice said. “Not only did they spend a lot of time and effort working with me on my renewable and energy saving options for the new construction, but also on improving our current facility for electricity and fossil fuel usage.”
Working with Rice and neighboring business owners in North Woodstock, NHEC relocated a three-phase electric service entrance that improved service reliability while preserving the appearance of the town’s Main Street. That move set the stage for a series of energy efficiency improvements, including the installation of an ozone cleaning system in the Inn’s laundry, energy-efficient lighting, four air source heat pumps for heating and cooling, and a solar photovoltaic (PV) system that qualified for a $19,000 NHEC incentive. All told, Rice received more than $107,000 in Co-op Energy Solutions incentives towards the cost of the $2.3 million project.
Like the extensive construction plans, Rice says planning energy infrastructure improvements was well worth the time.
“The folks at the NHEC devoted a lot of time going through all sorts of options till we finally came up with a plan that worked for my business,” he said.
Click here to learn more
about how Co-op Energy Solutions programs can work for your business, or call NHEC Member Solutions at 800-698-2007.
Jan 22, 2013 - NHEC Sets Feb. 15 Deadline for Board Candidates
PLYMOUTH – Members of the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, Inc. (NHEC) interested in being considered for nomination to the Board of Directors should submit their material to the Nominating Committee by noon on February 15, 2013. More information is available on NHEC’s web site at www.nhec.coop
“The Co-op seeks highly qualified members with diverse personal, professional and geographical backgrounds, as well as broad education and experience,” says Fred Anderson, NHEC President/CEO. “As a member-owned, non-profit organization, serving on the Board of Directors is one of the ways members have a direct impact on how this democratically controlled organization is run. It is an important and rewarding job.”
Board members are elected to three-year terms. Four of the 11 seats are up for election this year. Election ballots will be mailed to all members in May. Winners will be seated at the Annual Meeting of Members, Tuesday, June 11, 2013.
The Nominating Committee meets numerous times to review the applications and interview candidates for the Board of Directors. After completing the process, they nominate a slate of candidates to be included on the ballot. The candidates selected will be identified on the ballot as having been nominated by the Nominating Committee.
If you are interested in applying, contact Sharon Yeaton at 603-536-8801 or firstname.lastname@example.org
for a candidate packet.
Jan 3, 2013 - Energy Expert: Cut Your Energy Use by 10% in 2013
Ask the Energy Expert
Each month, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) offers you the chance to Ask the Energy Expert. Got a question about energy efficiency or renewable energy? Send your question to: email@example.com and get answers from the Co-op Energy Solutions team.
This month’s Energy Expert is Phil LaMoreaux. Phil is the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program Administrator at NHEC.
Q: I made a New Year’s resolution to reduce my home energy usage by 10% in 2013. Is this possible and how can I do it without spending a lot of money?
A: It’s definitely possible and it probably costs less than you think.
Anyone looking to save energy at home should start with the easy stuff, or low-hanging fruit, as we like to say.
LIGHTING: If you still have those old incandescent light bulbs in your home, do yourself a favor and replace them with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) or LED lights. CFLs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last seven times longer. Each incandescent bulb you replace with a CFL will save you about $6 per year.
PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTATS: A programmable thermostat will allow you to keep your home at a comfortable temperature when you are at home and active and a more efficient temperature when you are away or asleep. Setting your thermostat back 10 – 15 degrees for 8 hours per day can save you at least 10% on your home heating costs.
APPLIANCES: The efficiency of a particular appliance and how often you use it will determine what kind of savings you can realize in this area. Typically, the energy savings associated with replacing appliances is small compared to the overall cost of the appliance, so it only makes sense to replace them at the end of their useful life. This is a great opportunity to upgrade to an ENERGY STAR appliance with better efficiency. ENERGY STAR appliances use 15 – 30% less energy. Also, the way you use your appliances can affect how much energy you use. Try to follow simple tips like using the microwave to reheat smaller portions, using the right size stove burner, using the air dry option on your dishwasher and not over-drying your clothes.
Use power strips to turn off "vampire" power when not in use. Unplug battery chargers or power adaptors when not in use or when equipment is fully charged. Use power management features on computer, monitors, printers and fax machines.
Homeowners who are willing to invest a little more on energy efficiency can achieve home energy savings well beyond 10%. Your home may be eligible for an energy audit through NHEC’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR
program. Participants receive a comprehensive energy audit and a list of recommended efficiency measures like air sealing, additional insulation and lighting upgrades, the cost of which can be offset by incentives up to $4,000 from your Co-op. More information about this program can be found at www.NHEC.co
op or by calling 1-800-698-2007.
Jan 3, 2013 - NHEC Puts the 'Sun' in Sunapee
NHEC has broken ground on construction of a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system that will soon be powering its Sunapee District office.
The ground mounted solar array is located beside the Sunapee District building and will generate over 22,000 kWh per year. That’s enough to meet about 50% of the building’s needs, based on the last 12 months usage.
The PV system consists of two arrays, each about 50 feet long and 12 feet wide. The Suniva panels will be mounted at 40 degrees to make sure the snow slides off once the sun comes out. Suniva is an American company started as a spin off from University of Georgia. The panels are made in the USA.
In addition to the energy produced, NHEC will be using the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) produced by the system to meet its Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements as required by the State of New Hampshire.
Once it’s completed, you can follow the performance of the PV system via a link on our website that will show “live” solar production data. Project Manager Gary LeMay of NHEC Energy Solutions says the installation is intended to provide NHEC members, employees, and the public the opportunity to see what solar can produce, how it operates in various weather conditions and record the hourly generation data for analysis purposes.