New Hampshire Laws and Incentives

Listed below are the summaries of all current New Hampshire laws, incentives, regulations, funding opportunities, and other initiatives related to alternative fuels and vehicles, advanced technologies, or air quality. You can go directly to summaries of:

State Incentives

Diesel Emissions Reduction Grants

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) provides U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding for projects that reduce diesel emissions in New Hampshire. Funding for between 25% and 100% of eligible project costs is available for businesses, individuals, and local or state agencies that reduce diesel emissions by converting engines to alternative fuels, retrofitting exhaust controls, purchasing new vehicles, or adding idle reduction equipment. For more information, including funding amounts and how to apply, see the NHDES Diesel Vehicles and Equipment website.

Idle Reduction Weight Exemption

Any heavy-duty vehicle equipped with an auxiliary power unit or other qualified idle reduction technology may exceed the state gross, axle, tandem, or bridge formula weight limits by up to 550 pounds. To qualify for this exemption, drivers must be able to provide proof of the idle reduction technology's weight through written certification. Drivers must also be able to prove through demonstration or certification that the idle reduction technology is fully functional at all times. (Reference New Hampshire Revised Statutes 266:18-c)

Laws and Regulations

Fossil Fuel Use Reduction

The state will reduce aggregate fossil fuel use across all owned facilities as compared to a 2005 baseline by 30% by 2020, 40% by 2025, and 50% by 2030. A State Government Energy Committee (SGEC) will advise the State Energy Manager and the State Fleet Manager about energy management within state buildings, operations, and fleets. The state passenger vehicle fleet must also reach the 30% reduction target compared to the 2010 metric ton baseline by 2030. The State Energy Manager, State Fleet Manager, and SGEC will develop performance metrics by December 30, 2016, and agencies and departments will report on progress in their fiscal year 2018 Energy Conservation Plans. (Reference Executive Order 2016-03)

State Agency Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Procurement

The state must pursue PEV procurement opportunities for use in the state fleet and must install EVSE for use by state agencies. Where feasible and recommended by the State Government Energy Committee, state offices with more than 50 employees may also make EVSE available for employees, as long as energy cost is reimbursed by users. (Reference Executive Order 2016-03)

School District Emissions Reduction Policies

Each school district must develop and implement a policy to minimize or eliminate emissions from buses, cars, delivery vehicles, maintenance vehicles, and other motor vehicles used on school property. Policies must take into account existing anti-idling and clean air zone regulations that the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services established. (Reference New Hampshire Revised Statutes 200:48)

Biodiesel Blend Purchase Requirement

Diesel fuel that the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) purchases through the Motor Fuel Inventory Fund must contain at least 5% biodiesel (B5). Compliance with this requirement is at DOT's discretion only if the fuel is unavailable or more expensive than 100% petroleum diesel. DOT is encouraged to purchase diesel fuel containing up to 20% biodiesel (B20) when the fuel is acceptable for use. DOT may sell the fuel to all state departments and institutions, political subdivisions of the state, and eligible non-profit corporations under contract with DOT to transport the general public and federal government agencies. (Reference New Hampshire Revised Statutes 228:24-a)

Biodiesel Definition

Biodiesel is a renewable special fuel that is composed of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids, derived from vegetable oils or animal fats, and meets the requirements of the ASTM specification D6751. (Reference New Hampshire Revised Statutes 259:6-a)

Biodiesel Distributor License and Recordkeeping Requirements

Any person who refines, distills, prepares, blends, manufactures, or purchases biodiesel on which the road tax has not been paid and who is not a licensed and bonded distributor must become licensed with the New Hampshire Department of Safety (DOS). An annual license fee of $25 applies. Any licensed biodiesel refiner, distiller, blender, manufacturer, or purchaser of more than 10,000 gallons of biodiesel per month must file a bond with DOS. All biodiesel distributors must maintain and keep records for a period of four years to verify all biodiesel sold within the state meets ASTM D6751 specifications. Failure to demonstrate compliance may result in loss of the license. (Reference New Hampshire Revised Statutes 260:36-d, 260:38, and 260:43-b)

Alternative Fuel Dealer License

Any person who sells natural gas and propane on which the road tax has not been paid and who is not licensed and bonded must become licensed through the New Hampshire Department of Safety. The alternative fuel dealer must collect and remit road taxes and will be subject to a penalty for noncompliance. Failure to obtain a license and demonstrate compliance may result in fines and loss of the license, respectively. (Reference New Hampshire Revised Statutes 260:36, 260:38, and 260:40)

Alternative Fuels Road Tax

Alternative fuels including, but not limited to, natural gas or propane sold by a licensed alternative fuel dealer and used in on-road vehicles is subject to a $0.222 per gallon equivalent road tax. The New Hampshire Department of Safety will define rules for the applicable conversion rates for natural gas and propane based on nationally recognized standards for weights and measures. Certain exemptions apply, including sales to government entities, between duly licensed distributors, and sales of exported motor fuel. For taxation purposes, electricity is not considered an alternative fuel. For more information, see the Road Toll Bureau website. (Reference New Hampshire Revised Statutes 259:3-d, 259:58-b, 260:32c, 260:47, 260:52, and 260:57)

Idle Reduction Requirement

The owner or operator of a diesel powered vehicle must limit the length of time their vehicle remains idle. The limit is based on the outside temperature, as follows: Above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, 5 minute limit; between 32 and -10 degrees Fahrenheit, 15 minute limit; below -10 degrees Fahrenheit, no limit. Certain vehicles are exempt from the regulation, including vehicles in traffic, emergency vehicles, vehicles providing power take-off for refrigeration or lift gate pumps, vehicles idling for required maintenance or diagnostic purposes, and vehicles supplying heat or air conditioning for passenger comfort during transportation. (Reference New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Administrative Rules Env-A 1101.05 and 1101.06)

Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) Access to Roadways

A NEV is any four-wheel electric vehicle capable of achieving a top speed between 20 and 25 miles per hour (mph), and complies with the federal equipment and safety standards in Title 49 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, section 571.500. NEVs may only operate on roads that have a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less, but are not restricted from crossing roadways with speeds limits greater than 35 mph. (Reference New Hampshire Revised Statutes 259:66-b; 265:158; and 266:114)

State Energy Strategy Development

The New Hampshire Office of Energy Planning, in consultation with the New Hampshire Energy Advisory Council, prepared a 10-year energy strategy for the state. Among other issues, the strategy addresses the impact of transportation policies and programs on electricity energy needs in the state. The recommendations in the strategy include enabling and encouraging adoption of plug-in electric vehicles, and reducing unnecessary idling. For more information, including the final strategy, visit the State Energy Strategy website. (Reference New Hampshire Revised Statutes 4:E1)

Low Carbon Fuels Standard Collaboration

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services may engage in regional and national discussions related to potential low carbon fuel standard programs. (Reference New Hampshire Revised Statutes 21-O:23)