The Bulletin Board

Co-op’s electric rates to decrease in February

By: - December 22, 2022 2:00 pm

The New Hampshire Electric Cooperative’s energy rates remain lower than the other regulated utilities in the state. (Courtesy of NHEC)

The cost of electricity for New Hampshire Electric Cooperative members will go down 20 percent in February, the organization announced Wednesday.

The cost of electricity will go from around 17 cents per kilowatt hour to around 13.8 cents, which will save a typical household around $15 per month.

That’s less than rates offered by all of the regulated utilities. Eversource’s new 20-cent-rate was approved last week, Liberty’s 22-cent-rate is still pending approval, and Unitil’s 26-cent-rate that took effect in December will be in place through July.

The electric cooperative is a member-owned nonprofit that serves 86,000 people in 118 towns mostly in central New Hampshire. 

Like the other regulated utilities, the co-op adjusts its electricity rates twice a year. While the regulated utilities are required to go to market twice a year to purchase power, the co-op has greater flexibility and can actively manage its power purchases, layering contracts and buying energy when it’s less expensive. 

The PUC has opened an investigative docket to explore whether it should change how the regulated utilities purchase power. One adjustment it’s looking at is whether the regulated utilities could use an approach similar to the co-op to bring down costs. 

While energy prices have climbed significantly in the past year, they have leveled off with recent rate changes. A press release from the co-op attributes the decrease to the easing of energy prices in the region.

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Amanda Gokee
Amanda Gokee

Amanda Gokee reported on energy and environment for New Hampshire Bulletin. She also previously reported on these issues at VTDigger. Amanda grew up in Vermont and is a graduate of Harvard University. She received her master’s degree in liberal studies, with a concentration in creative writing, from Dartmouth College. Her work has also appeared in the LA Review of Books and the Valley News.

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