A State Energy Emergency Response Plan (SEERP) for the State of New Hampshire has been developed with policies, procedures, and regulations that may be adopted or enacted by the state if an energy emergency occurs. An "energy emergency" is an actual or impending shortage or curtailment of usable, necessary energy resources, such that the maintenance of necessary services; the protection of public health, safety, and welfare; or the maintenance of a basically sound economy is imperiled in any geographical section of the state or throughout the entire state. The plan is designed to reduce the impacts of a shortage to the states economy and its citizens health, safety, and welfare.
The SEERP relies on a mixed strategy to respond to varying degrees of an energy shortage. The basic philosophy calls for reliance on the market to the fullest extent necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare. The Governors Office of Energy and Community Services (ECS) is responsible for implementation of the plan. The New Hampshire Office of Emergency Management (NHOEM) will direct the energy emergency contingency operations in the state, at the direct order of the Governors Declaration of Emergency. In the event of an energy emergency, ECS coordinates all activities with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC), NHOEM and other state and Federal agencies.
Purpose of the SEERP
The purpose of the SEERP is to provide for timely and coordinated notification to state government, private sector entities, institutions, the media, and residents in the state of the occurrence of an energy emergency, and to define appropriate actions to be taken, including enactment of regulations, rules, laws, and other actions by the state.
Energy shortage management mitigates the occurrence of crises resulting from the shortage of any vital resource as a consequence of interruption or shortage of electricity, petroleum products, natural gas, propane gas, or any of the resources used in the generation of electricity; and when it is not possible to avert a crisis, to take such actions as are necessary to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the state.
The SEERP provides a systematic framework for actions that can be taken should an energy shortfall occur. The plan covers petroleum products, heating fuels, natural gas, propane gas, coal, transportation fuels and electricity. Coal is not used widely for residential/commercial use, however, coal by the hundreds of tons is used to fuel the Schiller and Merrimack power plants.
Principles of the Plan
In the event demand for energy products/services exceeds the available supply in the state, or if disruption in supply of energy products or electricity distribution occurs, the state may activate the SEERP.
In cooperation with other public institutions and the private sector, the state's primary goals in managing an energy emergency shall be to:
The plan relies on a cooperative partnership between government agencies and private industry. ECS will maintain a network of contacts with industry and all levels of government, ensuring a coordinated state response to an energy shortage or disruption.
Achieving and Maintaining Operational Readiness
The success and effectiveness of the SEERP relies on the 3 factors to achieve and maintain operational readiness. First, ECS staff must continuously monitor world events that have the potential to affect the global energy system. Second, strategies must be adaptable to changing conditions. Third, personnel must be trained and prepared to implement the plan.
ECS staff are responsible for carrying out the following steps to achieve and maintain operational readiness of the SEERP:
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