Community (Em)power in New Hampshire: Electricity by the People, for the People

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Reeling from high electricity costs? Worried about climate change? Granite Staters pride themselves on working with their neighbors to develop community-level solutions to social challenges, and multiple innovative approaches to energy issues are developing in the state. Jeannie Oliver from the NH Community Loan Fund and Henry Herndon of Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire will join us to discuss their organizations’ approaches to bringing Community Power and energy equity through community solar to New Hampshire.

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About the Speakers

Jeannie Oliver, Senior Director of ROC-NH, New Hampshire Community Loan Fund 

Jeannie Oliver

Jeannie Oliver is the Senior Director of ROC-NH, a program of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund that helps residents in New Hampshire’s manufactured-home parks acquire and operate them as resident-owned communities (ROCs). Jeannie brings to this role her prior experiences with renewable energy and climate justice by helping ROCs identify opportunities to improve their communities’ infrastructure and participate in clean-energy programs that improve residents’ economic and environmental well-being. Previously, Jeannie was a Professor of Law and Staff Attorney at the Vermont Law and Graduate School’s Energy Clinic. She worked with faculty and students there to provide law, policy, and advocacy services to clients pursuing clean-energy and climate-justice solutions, including the development of solar projects for low- to moderate-income communities in New Hampshire. Jeannie has also worked for the Vermont Dept. of Public Service, focusing on net metering, utility-project siting, and utility-rate cases, and in private practice advising clients on a range of corporate and commercial matters. 

Originally from New Zealand, Jeannie has a law degree from the University of Auckland, and an LLM in Environmental Law and an LLM in American Legal Studies from Vermont Law School. 

Henry Herndon, Director of Member Services, Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire 

Henry Herndon

Henry Herndon played a key leadership role in founding the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire, a public power agency providing electricity service to ~120,000 customers in 28 New Hampshire cities and towns. The Coalition is made up of more than 50 city, town, and county members representing more than 30% of the state’s population. Henry led critical public advocacy efforts to shape the state laws that enable Community Power. As Director of Member Services, Henry leads the Coalition's Member Services Team responsible for supporting municipalities and counties across the state to adopt, launch, and operate Community Power programs. Community Power gives New Hampshire cities and towns local control over the revenues associated with electricity sales in their community, and the ability to choose which electricity sources to purchase from. Through business operations, and public policy advocacy on behalf of its member communities, the Coalition is designed to empower cities and towns to develop their own local clean energy projects and programs.  

Henry has a BA in Political Science and an MS in Natural Resources from UNH.