Natural gas fuels rising electric costs
The three regulated utilities - Public Service of New Hampshire, Unitil and Liberty - have requests for increases in their energy supply charges either pending before the Public Utilities Commission or already approved by the PUC.
PSNH serves about 70 percent of the state and has lost more than 90,000 residential customers to competitive electricity suppliers since those suppliers began offering lower rates more than a year ago.
Liberty, whose franchise territory includes western and southern areas of the state, serves about 6 percent of the retail customers in New Hampshire, while Unitil serves about 11 percent of the state's retail customers in both the Seacoast and Concord areas.
North American is offering 7.59 cents per kwh on a 12-month guarantee, while ENH, another large competitive supplier, is offering 7.89 cents per kwh for the same period. There are 14 registered providers of competitive energy supply, all with varying terms and rates. The regulated utility continues to deliver the electricity, read the meters and manage the billing, no matter who supplies the power.
The energy charge from PSNH includes costs associated with its power plants, so customer migration is a concern among regulators.
As more customers leave PSNH, a shrinking customer base has to support those power plant expenses.
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