Notifies regulators of upcoming request for distribution rate review – first in 10 years
MANCHESTER, N.H. (March 22, 2019) – Eversource customers today are benefiting from a significant reduction in the frequency and duration of power outages as a result of more than $1 billion in investments to modernize and strengthen the electric system over the past 10 years. These improvements, along with rigorous cost management efforts, will be the focus of a review of the distribution portion of Eversource’s overall rates that the company requested today in a filing with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC). It is the first time in a decade that the company is seeking a distribution rate update, which is a customary request that the company delayed until it completed the sale of its power plants last year.
Eversource (NYSE: ES) is New Hampshire's largest electric utility, serving more than 500,000 homes and businesses in 211 cities and towns, and also supplies water to approximately 9,300 homes and businesses in Hampton, North Hampton and Rye. Eversource is proud to be recognized as the top contributor to United Way in New Hampshire. Recognized as the top U.S. utility for its energy efficiency programs by the sustainability advocacy organization Ceres, Eversource harnesses the commitment of about 8,000 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and water with superior customer service. For more information, please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter (@eversourceNH) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceNH). For more information on our water services, visit www.aquarionwater.com.
“We’ve had a steadfast commitment to enhancing the reliability of the electric grid, making it more resilient to New England’s extreme weather,” said Eversource NH President Bill Quinlan. “We’ve modernized our control centers and automated the system, enabling power to be redirected to our customers when interruptions occur. These investments are providing huge benefits to our customers and set the stage for a cleaner energy future in New Hampshire.”
The Notice of Intent that Eversource submitted to the NHPUC is the beginning of a comprehensive process that will occur in two phases. The first phase includes the NHPUC considering a request for temporary distribution rates to recover past investments, including expenses associated with power restoration efforts following major storms, vegetation management and upgrades to improve system reliability for all customers. It will also provide the opportunity for the company to flow corporate tax savings to its customers resulting from tax regulation changes. The company will then file a detailed request for permanent distribution rates for the NHPUC to consider in late May. This filing will propose future investments to continue strengthening the electric system and to advance the integration of distributed clean energy resources in New Hampshire.
Following an extensive public review by the NHPUC, a permanent rate change will be set to recover the company’s cost of delivering safe and reliable power to New Hampshire customers. Because the NHPUC’s review process typically takes up to a year or more, permanent rates are not expected to take effect until late Spring of 2020.
Beyond making strategic system investments that have reduced by nearly half the frequency and duration of power outages, the company has realized substantial operating cost savings over the last several years. If approved by the NHPUC, the temporary rate would go into effect on July 1, 2019, with an average increase of approximately 2 percent across all customer groups and a total increase of $33 million, or an estimated $3.50 on the monthly bill of a typical residential customer using 600 kilowatt-hours per month.