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PSNH asks to up bills 5 percent

Last modified: 9/29/2012 12:00:00 AM
Public Service of New Hampshire customers could see their bills increase by about 5 percent next year based on projections released yesterday by the company. The adjustment would mean an increase of about $4.30 per month for a residential customer using 500 kilowatt-hours.

The projected rate of 8.97 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is based on expected costs in the energy market and state mandates, could change. A final rate will be approved after December hearings by the state's Public Utilities Commission and go into effect Jan. 1. The energy service rate is currently 7.11 cents per kilowatt-hour.

PSNH spokesman Martin Murray said rates are expected to go up in part because of increased prices in the regional energy market ahead of the winter heating season.

The projected rate also doesn't include a credit customers started receiving in July, which reimbursed users for overcharges by PSNH.

'The energy market on a regional level went much lower than had been forecast over the last 18 months or so. During that time, our charge was set for a period of time higher than what it actually cost the company to purchase energy on the marketplace or to produce energy,' Murray said. 'The PUC decided and ordered that we basically credit back any overcharge to customers.'

That credit was paid back starting in July and will no longer be included in the rate starting in January, according to Murray.

The projected rate also includes a decrease in the charge customers pay due to the state's mandate that PSNH purchase power from several independent producers such as wood-fired plants and the trash incinerator in Penacook. That rate is expected to drop from 1.88 cents per kilowatt-hour to 0.79 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to the company.

(Tricia L. Nadolny can be reached at 369-3306 or tnadolny@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @tricia_nadolny.)


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