2013 Rate Case

On March 29th 2013 Granite State Electric Company d/b/a Liberty Utilities 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 $15.4 million – which is an 18% increase in total operating revenues. We have been assigned Docket Number DE 13-063.

UPDATE: April 1, 2014

The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission issued a ruling in the case. The commission has granted an increase of $9.76 million in distribution rates. This increase, effective April 1, 2014 will allow us to continue to invest in system improvements and provide reliable service to our customers.

Below you will find examples of how this increase will affect your electric bill. Full details of the ruling can be found on the NHPUC website at http://www.puc.nh.gov in Docket Number DE 13-063.

UPDATE:  July 1, 2013

As part of the ongoing proceeding, the PUC has approved a temporary distribution revenue increase of $6.5 million effective for service on and after July 1, 2013 to be collected by a uniform rate increase of 26.35% in distribution revenue to each of Liberty’s current rate schedules and rates.

Why we need to raise rates:

Granite State Electric Company d/b/a Liberty Utilities has not raised general distribution rates since 1996. Since that time, we have experienced a steady decline in the overall rate of return which is authorized by the Commission.  In order to provide safe, high quality and reliable electric distribution services to our customers, we must earn a fair rate of return.

We have made large investments in infrastructure maintenance and improvements to increase system reliability. Cost of materials such as poles, wires and associated materials have increased dramatically since our last filing.

Overall cost of doing business has also increased. Property tax and insurance expenditures have doubled in the last five years.

What part of my electric bill is changing?

Liberty Utilities is seeking permission to increase the distribution charge, which is the cost of delivering electricity to you. This includes electrical substations, utility poles and the wires that run along streets and connect to homes and businesses. For a full explanation of billing terms, please visit http://www.libertyutilities.com/east/electricity/my_home/delivery_services.html.

What is the process and when will the PUC make a decision?

Liberty Utilities filed its request with the NHPUC on March 29th 2013.

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. This increase will be approximately 60% of our total request in the case.  We are asking that temporary rates take effect on July 1st 2013 and stay in effect until we receive a final decision on the requested rate increase.

How the rate change will affect your bill:

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.

D – Domestic Service Rate (most residential customers): A residential customer using 500 kWh/month will see an approximate increase of $7.10/month.

D-10 – Optional Peak Load Pricing (special situation residential): A residential customer using 500 kWh/month will see an approximate increase of $12.31/month.

G-1 – Time of Use Rate (large commercial and Industrial): Rates will vary depending on demand and load factor. A large commercial customer with a demand of 400kW/month and a load factor of 50% will see an approximate increase of $1,021.18/month.

G-2 – Long Hour Service Rate (20kW – 200kW): Rates will vary depending on demand and load factor.  A customer with a demand of 50kW and a load factor of 50% will see an approximate increase of $89.25/month.

G-3 – General Service Rate (Non-residential customers with less than 20kW of demand) A customer using 1500kWh will see an approximate increase of $4.44/month.

M-Outdoor Lighting Rate: (Street, highway and some private outdoor lighting) Rates will vary based on type, size of light and other factors. A customer using a 50w Sodium luminaire will see an approximate increase of $13.60/year.

What you can do to offset these increase:

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.

Visit www.libertyutilities.com/efficiency for information about our programs as well as tips and advice on conserving energy.

If you have having difficulty paying your bill, please visit http://www.libertyutilities.com/east/electricity/my_account/
payment_assistance.html
for information on payment assistance programs.

What is the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission?

Liberty Utilities is regulated by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission or “PUC”. 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 PUC 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.

Still have questions?

If you still have questions regarding our rate increase, you can contact our customer service department at 1-800-375-7413

Our commitment to you:

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.