On April 30, 2019 Liberty Utilities (Granite State Electric) Corp. submitted a rate filing with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. We are asking the Commission for permission to raise the rates that we charge customers for our electric distribution service. Currently, electric distribution rates are not sufficient to allow us to recover costs and earn a reasonable return on investment. We are asking to increase our annual distribution revenues by approximately $5.7 million.
We have been assigned Docket No. DE 19-064.
The PUC has approved a temporary distribution revenue increase of $2.1 million effective for service on and after July 1, 2019 to be collected by a uniform rate increase of 5.18% in distribution revenue to each of Liberty’s current rate schedules and rates.
Our employees live and work in NH. We support local jobs and the communities we live and work in. We consider it a privilege to serve you and will do our best meet your needs.
In order to provide safe, reliable electric service to our customers, we need to make continual investments in things like equipment, maintenance and upgrades. We also had a significant increase in property taxes last year. From time to time we need to raise distribution rates to keep pace with those investments. Investments made in 2018 and prior years resulted in 2018 having the highest reliability rating in company history.
Liberty Utilities is seeking permission to increase the distribution charge, which is the cost of delivering electricity to you. This includes operation and maintenance of electrical substations, utility poles and the wires that run along streets and connect to homes and businesses.
Liberty Utilities filed its request with the NHPUC on April 30, 2019.
We provided testimony and background information to the Commission that outlines exactly what we are asking for and why we are asking for it. The PUC will review the request and schedule hearings. Once the Commission collects all the data necessary, they will deliberate and issue a decision. The process can take up to a year to complete.
As part of the process we will also be asking for a temporary rate increase. The temporary rate increase will be approximately 37 percent of our requested increase. We are asking that temporary rates take effect on July 1, 2019 and stay in effect until we receive a final decision on the requested rate increase.
If the request for increase is approved by the Commission, the increase in distribution charges is shown below.
All of our customers are charged based on the categories below. If you are unsure of what rate category you belong to, you can find your rate code on your electric bill below your account number. The numbers below reflect rates in effect as of May 1, 2019.
D – Domestic Service Rate the total bill for a residential customer using 650 kWh of electricity per month will increase from $119.05 to $126.88 (6.58%). The increase represents a 23.19% increase in the Distribution charges. NOTE: These numbers are based on rates in effect as of May 1, 2019, and therefore will vary slightly from what is stated in your June bill insert, which was based on rates in effect during the month of April 2019.
D-10 – Optional Peak Load Pricing (special situation residential): This rate class will see a total bill increase of 7.86% which represents a 21.88% increase in Distribution charges.
G-1 – Time of Use Rate (large commercial and Industrial): This rate class will see a total bill increase of 1.44% which represents a 6.18%% increase in Distribution charges.
G-2 – Long Hour Service Rate (20kW – 200kW): This rate class will see a total bill increase of 4.01% which represents a 20.25% increase in Distribution charges.
G-3 – General Service Rate (Non-residential customers with less than 20kW of demand): This rate class will see a total bill increase of 5.81% which represents a 20.60% increase in Distribution charges.
Please visit the NH Public Utilities website for detailed information regarding this rate case, including impacts to all other rate classes.
There are things you can do to minimize the impact of the increase. We offer a comprehensive Energy Efficiency program that can not only reduce your electric usage and save you money, but many of our programs offer incentives that can help to offset the cost of making energy efficient upgrades. Please visit the “Smart Energy Use” section of our website.
If you have having difficulty paying your bill, there are several assistance programs that you may qualify for. Please contact your local Community Action Agency for information on payment assistance programs and to see if you qualify.
Liberty Utilities is regulated by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission or “NHPUC”. The Commission is charged with ensuring that utilities offer safe, reliable service at reasonable rates. If a regulated utility wants to raise its rates, it must receive permission from the NHPUC to do so.
For more information on the NHPUC please visit their web site at www.puc.state.nh.us or call its Consumer Affairs Division at 1-800-852-3793.
If you still have questions regarding our rate increase, you can contact our customer service department at 1-800-375-7413.