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Higher electricity rates are looming for many N.H. customers

NH Electric Coop Facebook

Electricity rates for many New Hampshire residents are set to spike this month, with three of New Hampshire’s four utility companies previously announcing major increases set to kick in in August.

Eversource and Liberty each set their energy supply rates at more than 22 cents per kilowatt hour – up from about 10 cents and 11 cents, respectively.

The state’s Public Utilities Commission says average residential customers of those companies will see more than a $70 increase on their monthly bills.

The New Hampshire Electric Cooperative’s rate is increasing a bit less, but they’ve also said their customers should get ready for higher bills – for the average consumer, just under $40 extra per month.

Unitil changes their energy supply rates on a different schedule and their customers will not see the same jump at this time.

The energy supply rate is what’s known as a pass-through cost, meaning utility companies don’t profit off of that part of a consumer’s electricity bill. It changes twice annually, based on market forces.

New England’s reliance on natural gas and variability in global supplies due to factors like the war in Ukraine are contributing to the rate hikes. Eversource said extreme weather in states that produce natural gas and increased demand stemming from the pandemic recovery have also played a role.

How to manage electricity use 

Cutting down on electricity use can help mitigate the impacts of rate increases.

Closing blinds or curtains when it’s hot outside, turning off lights and appliances not in use, and making energy efficiency upgrades can help lower costs. Eversource says minimizing water use can also save on electricity.

Washing only full loads of laundry, using cold water to wash clothes, and turning down the temperature on hot water tanks can also help, according to the Public Utilities Commission.

New Hampshire Saves can help make energy efficiency upgrades, and Granite Staters looking for help with high bills can connect with assistance programs through their local community action agency.

Gov. Chris Sununu announced a plan to deliver additional aid to Granite Staters in June.

Mara Hoplamazian reports on climate change, energy, and the environment for NHPR.
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