Fifteen years ago, New Hampshire embarked on a dramatic experiment, deregulating electricity. The idea was to bring competition to power production; a sector where typically just a handful of highly-regulated utilities dominated. These days, Granite Staters are being pursued by a variety of power suppliers, from all over. And their efforts are paying off, with more and morer customers switching from the state’s largest utility, PSNH to new providers.
Cheap natural gas prices have led to a boom in the construction of gas generating power plants. That combined with market deregulation in New England have set the stage for some tumultuous times in the New England electricity market for years to come.
Many Granite State electric customers are scratching their heads after an electricity supplier, Power New England, was abruptly kicked out of the market two weeks ago. Customers of Power New England and its sister company, Resident Power, have had to try to sort out what's going on from media reports where utilities and power suppliers are slinging accusations back forth indiscriminately.
So here’s a breakdown of what has happened to date.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed a bill that would make it easier for the smallest farmers to break even. If it becomes law it would allow residents to sell some home-made baked-goods, preserves, and cheese at home or at farmers’ markets.