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Eversource Seeks Rate Hike To Pay For Distribution Infrastructure Upgrades

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Annie Ropeik / NHPR
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Eversource wants to increase its electric rate to cover the cost of major upgrades made over the past decade. The company began the lengthy rate review process with a request to the state Public Utilities Commission on Friday.

This is the first time in a decade the state's largest utility has sought to adjust the part of its rate that covers distribution – or the poles and wires that get power to customers. These costs make up about 30 percent of customers' bills.

Eversource says it's invested around a billion dollars in that infrastructure over the past 10 years – since the last time it adjusted this rate.

It says it delayed adjusting the rate again until after selling off its power plants, in a process that concluded last year.

As a public utility, Eversource is guaranteed a full return on its investment in providing power.

The company says the first phase of the rate review process will be a temporary increase later this year. They say that initial hike, if approved, would add about $3.50 a month to the average residential user's bill.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.

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