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Business and Economy

PSNH Asks Regulators For Lower Rate

Public Service of New Hampshire is asking regulators if it can lower its rates by nearly 10 percent, or .92 (point-nine-two) cents per kilowatt hour. The rate reduction comes as the state’s largest utility is increasingly under scrutiny for its high rates.

If regulators approve the reduction, PSNH customers will pay 8.62 cents per kilowatt hour. That rate is still more than PSNH’s biggest competitors, two of which offer six month fixed contracts at under 8 cents a kilowatt hour. However, the more competitive price could take some pressure off the utility.

Last week, the Public Utilities Commission released a report which suggested that until PSNH sells its coal-burning power plants it will continue to have above market costs for the foreseeable future.

PSNH says the reduced rate is in part due to increased use of those plants this winter, when gas-prices were high.

The utility also announced today that it has finished paying off certain "rate-reduction" bonds that were primarily issued to spread out costs associated with the sale of the Seabrook Nuclear Power station as part of market deregulation over a decade ago. This will reduce the stranded cost recovery charge, that is part of the delivery charge payed by everyone in the PSNH service area.

Note: An earlier version of this story said that the "rate-reduction" bonds had contributed to the decrease in the PSNH energy rate, which is not the case.