NHEC to Expand NH Broadband Fiber-optic Network to 32 Grafton County Towns

PLYMOUTH, NH (March 1, 2022) – New Hampshire Electric Cooperative’s (NHEC) Board of Directors has voted to move forward with a major expansion of the Co-op’s broadband efforts. The Board authorized NH Broadband, the Co-op’s internet subsidiary, to proceed with construction of fiber-optic networks that will provide high-speed internet service to nearly 17,000 homes and businesses in 32 towns across Grafton County, one of the most underserved areas of the state. This project does not require bonding or other financial commitment by the towns.

Grafton County has a high concentration of areas that do not have access to broadband internet. Last year, NHEC secured funding to help provide these unserved areas with fiber-optic, high-speed internet service through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction. NHEC’s expansion in Grafton County will focus on reaching these unserved members.

NHEC is moving forward with the planning and development of its Grafton County expansion to meet its members’ critical need for high-speed internet as quickly as possible. While work gets underway, NHEC will be pursuing grant opportunities that the State of New Hampshire will make available in the near future from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The Grafton County project will help bridge the digital divide for residents in some of the most underserved areas of the state, with the goal of completing construction in 18 months.

“This expansion is a milestone for rural broadband access in New Hampshire,” said NHEC Board Chair Jeffrey Morrill. “Just two years ago we were in the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic and thousands of our members were quite literally cut off from a world that went virtual nearly overnight. It speaks to the value of member-owned cooperatives like NHEC that can respond quickly and effectively to the needs of its members. I’m proud of the work NHEC and the Board have done to lead the effort for universal broadband access in New Hampshire.”

“High-speed internet has been a long time coming to rural New Hampshire,” said NH Broadband Chair and NHEC Board member Leo Dwyer. “This expansion of NH Broadband’s network will connect thousands of NHEC members to an essential service in a part of the state that really needs it. It’s what we and our members envisioned when they asked us to provide broadband internet service in 2020. In many ways, it mirrors the Co-op’s drive to bring light and power to the same areas more than 80 years ago.”

NH Broadband’s fiber-optic networks are capable of providing upload and download speeds in excess of 1 Gigabit per second to meet NHEC’s members’ needs today and into the future. The service will be offered to NHEC members in the following Grafton County towns:

Ashland, Bath, Benton, Bridgewater, Bristol, Campton, Canaan, Dorchester, Easton, Ellsworth, Grafton, Groton, Hanover, Haverhill, Hebron, Holderness, Landaff, Lisbon, Littleton, Lyman, Monroe, New Hampton, Orange, Orford, Piermont, Plymouth, Rumney, Sugar Hill, Thornton, Warren, Wentworth, Woodstock.

One of the NHEC members looking forward to receiving service said NH Broadband’s expansion is good news for rural residents across the state.

“I respect and appreciate the responsiveness of the Co-op to this member initiative,” said Richard Knox of New Hampshire Broadband Advocates, a grassroots group that has advocated for expanded broadband access in the state. “It signifies that NHEC means business when it says it wants to provide this essential service to rural towns overlooked by other internet providers.”

In 2020, with support from the Connecting New Hampshire – Emergency Broadband Expansion Program, NHEC constructed fiber-optic networks that provided over 1,000 of its members high-speed internet access in Lempster, Colebrook, Stewartstown, and Clarksville. In 2021, NHEC began the construction of fiber-optic networks in Acworth and Sandwich, which will make broadband available to another 1,800 homes and businesses. The Sandwich and Acworth projects are supported by a grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC), and federal funding that Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Congressman Chris Pappas are working to secure. NHEC also anticipates applying for funds from ARPA.

In this early stage of planning, service availability dates by town are not yet available for Grafton County towns included in the network expansion. However, NH Broadband will be posting construction updates and other news on its website: www.NHBroadband.com and on its Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/NHBroadband.

NHEC Launches Nationwide Search for New CEO

Plymouth, NH – New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) has launched a nationwide search for its next Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The NHEC Board of Directors has retained CarterBaldwin Executive Search to assist with the search. The search process will be led by Chris Guiney, who heads CarterBaldwin’s energy and infrastructure practice. NHEC’s new CEO will replace Jim Bakas, who is currently serving as interim general manager. Mr. Bakas will resume his role as Vice President of Operations & Engineering upon the hiring of a new CEO.

Founded in 1939, NHEC is a not-for-profit, member-owned electric distribution cooperative that provides electric service and energy solutions to 85,000 members in 118 communities throughout New Hampshire. NHEC’s 220 employees are guided by the organization’s mission – to provide its members access to affordable, reliable electric service options that support and simplify their lives. In 2020, NHEC created a wholly owned subsidiary, NH Broadband, to ensure all its members have access to reliable, affordable high-speed internet service. NHEC is New Hampshire’s second largest electric utility and is headquartered in Plymouth.

To learn more about the CEO opportunity at NHEC, please visit: https://carterbaldwin.com/opportunities/nhecceo/ Application materials are being accepted now through April 8, 2022.  Interested candidates should submit a personal letter of interest and resume to NHECCEO@carterbaldwin.com.

About CarterBaldwin Executive Search
CarterBaldwin is a retained executive search firm that partners with leading corporations, organizations, and institutions to help them build exceptional leadership teams. Its practice leaders have more than 100 years of combined executive search experience and are focused on delivering excellent results tailored to the unique goals and needs of every client. With C-level corporate search as its foundation, CarterBaldwin has expanded its client portfolio to include non-profit and academic sectors and has evolved from a regional firm to a national firm with international reach. CarterBaldwin’s Energy and Infrastructure practice serves clients across the gas, electric power, renewables, cleantech, telecom, water, waste, mining, construction, and related infrastructure projects. As the energy and infrastructure sectors continue to rebound and with more focus on energy and infrastructure investing than ever before, CarterBaldwin has established a leadership position developing and building executive teams for our clients.


Feb. 10 Deadline for Board Candidate Nominations

PLYMOUTH – Members of the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) interested in being considered for nomination to the NHEC Board of Directors should submit their candidate material to the NHEC Nominating Committee by February 10, 2022.

Any NHEC member in good standing can run for a seat on the board. NHEC members vote annually to fill open seats on the board. To learn more about the director election process, please visit https://www.nhec.com/board-of-directors/director-election-process/. To apply, please contact Sharon Yeaton (yeatons@nhec.com) for a candidate packet.

“This is an exciting time to be involved with NHEC,” said Interim General Manager James Bakas. “At a time of great change in the way energy and information is shared, our board and employees are embracing new ways to support the lives of our member-owners. It’s 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 are mailed to all members in May. Winners will be seated at the Annual Meeting of Members in June.

The NHEC Nominating Committee meets each year to review applications and interview candidates for the board of directors. Committee members consider the needs of the cooperative and nominate a slate of candidates they feel can best meet those needs. The candidates selected will be identified on the ballot as having been nominated by the nominating committee.

NHEC is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving 85,000 homes and businesses in 118 New Hampshire communities.

Public Notice of Approvals for Disposal of PCB Remediation Wastes

In accordance with the 40 CFR 761.61(c) risk-based disposal approval issued by the U.S. EPA to dispose of PCB Remediation Wastes generated at secure utility assets and containing as-found concentrations < 50 ppm PCBs, the following information is provided:



Materials will be removed between January 25, 2022 – February 4, 2022. For further information, please contact:

Carl Borowiec, NHEC

(603) 536-8464


NHEC Has Contracted with Conexon for Next Steps on Major Fiber-Optic Broadband Project

PLYMOUTH, NH (December 16, 2021) – New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) has entered into a contract with Conexon, a national fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) rural broadband solutions provider that works exclusively with electric cooperatives, to deliver high-speed internet to NHEC members in 118 communities who now lack it.

The contract will enable NHEC’s new subsidiary, NH Broadband, to take the next steps in its plan to ensure that all NHEC members have access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet.

A rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader, Conexon works exclusively with rural electric cooperatives to design and build state-of-the-art fiber-optic networks. This year Conexon will complete construction of over 40,000 miles of fiber-optic networks for cooperatives across the country.

Conexon will work with NH Broadband to bring fiber-optic service to a wide area of rural New Hampshire that has been largely overlooked by existing internet providers. NH Broadband’s plan is to construct networks utilizing the latest XGS-PON technology. These networks will be capable of symmetrical download and upload speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second – a technology that can meet the needs of NHEC members today and well into the future.

Through this relationship with Conexon, NH Broadband will begin critical planning and pre-construction work, positioning itself to hit the ground running when grant opportunities become available. As funding is secured, NH Broadband’s goal is to construct fiber-optic networks that ensure all 85,000 NHEC members in 118 communities across nine counties have access to high-speed internet. Under this plan, NH Broadband will make significant progress towards bridging the rural digital divide in New Hampshire.

The critical effort to expand rural broadband access gained new urgency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, as the rapid shift to remote work and learning left many rural residents with slow or no internet connectivity struggling to keep up. As it did in the 1930s, when it brought electricity to rural New Hampshire, NHEC is committed to making this equally essential service available to all its members.

The project builds upon NHEC’s current FTTH project encompassing two of the cooperative’s communities, Acworth and Sandwich, that will provide fiber-optic access to nearly 1,800 underserved homes and businesses. Those networks are scheduled to go online in early 2022. One year ago, NH Broadband connected its first customers in Lempster, Colebrook, Stewartstown and Clarksville, when it completed fiber-optic networks utilizing a grant from the Connecting NH Emergency Broadband Expansion Program. Those networks are currently providing over 1,000 previously unserved NHEC members with access to world-class high-speed internet service.

“We are thrilled to work closely with Conexon for this undertaking,” said NH Broadband’s executive chair, Leo Dwyer. “With their expertise and the pending availability of federal and state grants, a wide swath of rural New Hampshire will finally be connected to priceless economic, educational and lifestyle opportunities that have been beyond reach until now.”

“We’re very excited to work with the New Hampshire Electric management team and board to serve their members with fiber broadband,” Conexon Founding Partner Randy Klindt said. “New Hampshire is in desperate need of world-class broadband and this project will go a long way in closing the digital divide within the state. It’s going to be transformative.”

About NH Broadband

NH Broadband (NHB) is a subsidiary of New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC), which serves 85,000 members in 118 New Hampshire communities. NHB collaborates with industry partners, municipalities, and counties in the pursuit of better connectivity for the people of New Hampshire. NHB is developing fiber-to-the-home networks capable of up to 1 Gigabit symmetrical upload and download speeds.

 About Conexon

Conexon works with Rural Electric Cooperatives to bring fiber to the home in rural communities. The company is composed of professionals who have worked in electric cooperatives and the telecommunications industry, and offer decades of individual experience in business planning, building networks, marketing and selling telecommunications. Conexon offers its electric cooperative clients end-to-end broadband deployment and operations support, from a project’s inception all the way through to its long-term sustainability. It works with clients to analyze economic feasibility, secure financing, design the network, manage construction, provide operational support, optimize business performance and determine optimal partnerships. To date, Conexon has assisted nearly 200 electric cooperatives, nearly 50 of which are deploying fiber networks, with more than 150,000 connected fiber-to-the-home subscribers across the U.S. The company has secured over $1.3 billion in federal and state funding for its clients.

NHEC Sets Member Service Charge for 2022

PLYMOUTH, NH – (December 7, 2021) For the first time in four years, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) will increase its Member Service Charge to reflect the ongoing costs to operate its electric system.  For a typical member who uses 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, the Basic Residential Member Service Charge will be increasing by $1.70 per month, a 1.4% total bill increase.  All other monthly charges will stay the same. This change will take effect on bills rendered on or after January 1, 2022.

The Member Service Charge is a fixed, monthly fee that is paid by all NHEC members, regardless of how much electricity they use each month. The charge pays for the operating expenses of the Co-op, ensuring that NHEC’s electric distribution system continues to provide safe and reliable service to all its members.


Over the past four years NHEC has seen the cost to provide service to its members rise. For example, the cost NHEC pays contractors for tree trimming in power line rights-of-way has increased by nearly 40% during that period. The Member Service Charge funds essential investments that make NHEC’s system more reliable, like tree trimming and equipment upgrades. These projects help reduce the number and duration of power outages and are critical to maintaining the electric distribution system throughout NHEC’s rural service territory.

“NHEC is a nonprofit cooperative, which means we operate our electric system at cost for our members,” explained Jim Bakas, NHEC’s Interim General Manager. “We are always mindful of the costs we incur and the rates our members pay. Unfortunately, the cost to run the Co-op has gone up over the past four years and we need to increase our Member Service Charge so we can continue to provide safe and reliable service. Our members rely on NHEC’s electric system whether they use 10 or 10,000 kilowatt-hours a month. Increasing the Member Service Charge is the fairest way to meet our operational needs.”

The Basic Residential Member Service Charge will increase from $29.32 per month to $31.02 per month. NHEC is maintaining its current Distribution Delivery Charge of 4 cents per kWh, the fourth consecutive year without an increase. A complete listing of rates and charges is available on the NHEC website at www.nhec.com/rates-tariffs.