At the tail-end of the section that opens New Hampshire’s ten-year energy strategy, released Tuesday, there are three paragraphs that acknowledge the issue which has been dominating the regional energy conversation. During the winter prices spike because natural gas electricity plants have been built and homeowners have converted to natural gas for heating and the region’s network of gas pipelines has not expanded as demand has grown.
New Hampshire’s largest utility estimates customers will see a two percent average rate hike this year. Public Service of New Hampshire filed its rate adjustment forecast with the Public Utilities Commission Friday. PSNH says higher energy prices over the winter and continued volatility in the market could translate into higher power bills. The utility has not yet requested a rate change from the PUC.
The state’s Public Utilities Commission is planning to investigate whether PSNH is charging consumers too much for electricity.
In an order issued Friday afternoon the state’s Public Utilities Commission says it wants to know more about how Public Service of New Hampshire is operating and how that affects consumers and the state.
In particular the commission says it will investigate “how PSNH proposes to maintain safe and reliable service” and “just and reasonable rates” in light of market conditions.