The intelligent and hard-working members and staff at the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission are working hard to lower your electric rate. They’re from the government, and they’re here to help.
The PUC and the New Hampshire Legislature have been trying to reduce New Hampshire’s shockingly high utility bills for a while now and have even introduced a sliver of market competition into the bureaucratic, overregulated, micromanaged labyrinth of electric rates.
Last week, the PUC recommended Public Service Company of New Hampshire, the state’s largest electric utility and the only one to generate much of its own power, sell its remaining generation assets. The Merrimack Station coal plant in Bow is at the heart of the issue.
Public Service Company of New Hampshire says that if it’s forced to sell off its remaining power plants, it would have to buy more expensive electricity and rates would go up. The other New England power generators claim that PSNH’s in-house generation assets are part of the reason why its rates are so high. In a standoff with the most unsympathetic opponents since the NBA lockout, most ratepayers are probably hoping both sides can lose.
The week, the NH House Science, Technology, and Energy Committee amended a bill forcing PSNH to sell off its remaining power generation assets, deferring the decision to the Public Utilities Commission. PSNH claims that a forced divestiture would lead to higher electric rates. Rival power generators argues that PSNH’s in-house power plants lead to higher rates. What do you think?
Grant Bosse and Paul Westcott talk about the debate over forcing PSNH to sell off its remaining power plants, and what it could mean to your electric rates. Listen to NH Watchdog on the Paul Westcott Show every Friday at 7:20am on AM610 WGIR, 96.7 The Wave, through the I Heart Radio ap, or streaming at WGIRam.com.
Garry Rayno reports in the Union Leader that the Public Utilities Commission has delayed its decision on whether PSNH will be able to pass along the $430 million it paid to install a state-mandated scrubber at its Bow power plant on to ratepayers.
(CONCORD) In an overwhelming 317-51 vote, the New Hampshire this afternoon approved a bill blocking utilities from taking private land by eminent domain to build power lines, unless those lines are deemed necessary for system reliability. The legislation would put a major hurdle in plans to bring cheap hydroelectric power from Hydro-Quebec generators to the New England grid.
The 180-mile Northern Pass project would run mostly along existing right-of-ways owned by Public Service Company of New Hampshire. But there’s a 40-mile gap that would require new right-of-way to be cut through Coos County forests. Should HB 648 pass, PSNH would not be able to take that crucial land from unwilling owners.
Grant Bosse discusses reforms to the New Hampshire Retirement System with Senator Job Bradley, outlines the controversial Northern Pass project with PSNH spokesman Martin Murray, takes a first look at New Hampshire’s Census numbers and what it means for redistricting, and provides the results of the NH Watchdog Poll on education funding.