New Hampshire’s ‘Consumer Choice’ Law

On Oct. 24, a new law takes effect in New Hampshire, allowing consumers to choose what heating fuel they use in new residential construction.

Bob Sculley, executive director of the Energy Marketers Association of New Hampshire, Leslie Anderson, president and CEO of the Propane Gas Association of New England, and fuel marketers Dead River Co., and Palmer Gas & Oil lobbied for the bill.

Sculley says that basing the lobbying approach on the principle of “consumer choice” was critical to getting the legislation passed.

Leslie Anderson of PGANE and Bob Sculley of EMANH. Photo by Shane Sweet.

Anderson points out, “New Hampshire is the first state in the Northeast to get a freedom of choice bill introduced that will allow the citizens the right to pick their own energy source, to not be dictated to by their towns or municipalities.”

The new law “provides security for our industry in New Hampshire. We’re not going to have to be watching all the towns to try to figure out if they’re going to try to enact bans or restrictions,” Anderson says.

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“Granite Staters’ right to decide how they wish to heat their homes and businesses is now protected after SB86 was signed into law,” the bill’s prime sponsor, Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem) said in a statement issued Aug. 24, the day Gov. Chris Sununu signed the bill.

Morse adds, “New Hampshire citizens should be able to choose how they heat their homes and businesses, whether that means relying on gas, electricity, solar, geothermal, oil, or any other source. Now that SB86 is law, state and local governments cannot make rules that restrict the ability of a person or a business to select the energy product they want to use or the heating system that works best for them. I believe this is a commonsense approach to protecting and promoting consumer choice.”

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