NH Office of Energy and Planning
NH Office of Energy and Planning
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Energy in NH

Energy underlies every aspect of modern life - transportation, communication, heating and cooling, even showering and cooking. Despite this reliance on energy, our energy systems are often poorly understood, in part due to their complexity. These pages provide a broad overview of the key energy systems in New Hampshire, and the tools to conduct further research in order to better understand energy and New Hampshire's policies and programs related to it.

New Hampshire's Energy Expenditures

(Note: For week-to-week prices for specific fuels in New Hampshire, please see our Fuel Prices page.)

Energy costs are a significant part of the economy: in 2010, total expenditures on energy in New Hampshire were approximately 8% of GDP. Much of this spending left the state, as NH imports nearly all of its energy sources. In the below graph, 100% of the Petroleum and Natural Gas categories are imported, and nearly 85% of the base fuels for electricity are imported. (For more, see the Electricity page.)

Expenditures by Fuel Type, 2010: Petroleum $955.8, Electricity $1,615.90, Natural Gas $274.60, Biomass $18.40
Data from EIA State Energy Data System Table F28:
Total Energy Consumption, Price, and Expenditure Estimates, 2010

If we break energy expenditures down by sector rather than fuel type, we can see that transportation accounts for 44% of energy costs in New Hampshire - a compelling reason to pursue alternative means of transportation.

Energy Expenditures by Sector, 2010: Transportation $2,338.4, Residential $1,451.5, Commercial $955.9, Industrial $483.6
Data from EIA State Energy Data System Table ET2:
Total End-Use Energy Price and Expenditure Estimates, 1970-2010, New Hampshire

 

Electricity and Renewables

Any discussion of a state's electricity mix is complicated by the regional nature of electricity markets—electricity is bought and sold across state lines. New Hampshire is a member of the New England Independent System Operator (ISO-NE), a regional entity that administers the wholesale electricity market. The mix of electricity being used in the region at any given time is dependent on which generators have bid into the market for that hour, and therefore the mix fluctuates frequently. These changes are reflected on the Fuel Mix Chart on ISO-NE’s website. For the purposes of policy making and planning, however, it is often more useful to know what the average annual mix is. For that, we can utilize sources such as ISO-NE's annual data.

It is somewhat more complicated to determine New Hampshire's specific electricity mix. On the electric grid, it is not possible to dictate where specific electrons are flowing to or from, so even if Buyer A purchased solar power from Seller M on the market, the electrons from that solar panel may actually be sent to Buyer B. Therefore, it is only ever possible to estimate a state's electricity consumption mix, and in order to do so one must make a number of assumptions about market and grid conditions. Some of the best data currently available is compiled by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA is a national organization that "collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment." EIA's estimation of New Hampshire's electric consumption is shown below.

Electric Power Consumption by Fuel Type: Nuclear 51%, Natural Gas 18%, Coal 15%, Biomass 8%, Hydroelectric 6%, Other 2%
Data from EIA State Energy Data System Table CT8:
Electric Power Sector Consumption Estimates, Selected Years, 1960-2010, New Hampshire


NH Office of Energy and Planning
Governor Hugh J. Gallen State Office Park
Johnson Hall, 3rd Floor  |  107 Pleasant Street  |  Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-2155  |  fax: (603) 271-2615