Liberty Utilities is in the planning phase of a pilot project to make home-power batteries available to residential customers, starting in West Lebanon where there is a need to reduce 'peak demand.' The program is being designed to provide backup power for homeowners during outages and to reduce the overall load to the grid during times of peak monthly electricity usage.
Homeowners will pay a surcharge for this additional service, and will also be asked to pay their electricity bill under a new formula known as ‘Time of Use,’ whereby electricity distribution and transmission rates will vary with the time of day. The utility will use the battery just a few days a month when electricity usage is at a maximum in the region and the homeowner will have access to it the rest of the month and be able to use it to reduce their electricity costs with the time of use rates.
This program would be the first of its kind in NH and would allow customers to save money on their electric bills if they use the battery judiciously. The utility can predict when the high-use days will be, will charge up each battery the night before, and then draw from it during that day to reduce electricity demand during the peak hours of the month to save all ratepayers money on transmission charges.
This program is currently being reviewed by the NH Public Utilities Commission, and the City is an active intervenor to make sure that it is the best program it can be. We will be tracking the project and giving input until it rolls out, which we expect might be mid-summer.
Visit the Liberty Utilities website where updates on the program will be posted or stay tuned here on the City’s website.