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N.H. Electric Co-op Cuts Winter Rate, As Mild Temps Drive Down Prices

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Flickr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire Electric Cooperative has taken the rare step of adjusting its winter electric rate mid-season, due to warm temperatures and low prices. 

The co-op says its 84,000 customers, spread across 115 towns, will see a 26% drop in their bills starting next month – amounting to $11 off for the average ratepayer.

The Plymouth-based utility usually resets the electric supply part of its bills only in November and May.

But spokesman Seth Wheeler says this winter has been far milder than expected, pushing market prices for electricity down. So they're cutting the rate early, for what Wheeler says is the first time this has happened in recent memory.

This year, it’s partly because mild weather has meant less need for home heating. This has lowered the price of natural gas - which supplies about half of New England's electricity.

Wheeler says the co-op may decrease its rates again slightly at the normal time in May.

The electric supply rate is just one part of customers' overall bills, which also cover distribution costs and other charges.

New Hampshire and its neighbors have some of the highest electric rates in the country. Customers’ total bills here, on the other hand, are fairly average.

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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