New Hampshire residents warned of 'drastic increases' in electricity bills

New Hampshire residents warned of ‘drastic increases’ in electricity bills

New Hampshire officials are warning residents to prepare for higher utility bills, with electricity rates expected to rise this year and one utility proposing more than a 100% increase.According to the Office of the Consumer Advocate, several factors are at work in driving up energy costs. One is that New England heavily relies on natural gas, which means our electric bills in the region are tethered to the global market, which has been shaken by the war in Ukraine. “Unfortunately, I have to deliver the bad news that consumers can expect some pretty drastic increases in their electric bills,” said consumer advocate Don Kreis.Kries said a general increase of nearly 50% is expected.”So basically, if your bill is $100, you can look at paying $150, more or less,” he said.That price will depend on factors such as consumption and which provider a household uses. Some utility companies are filing rate changes with the Public Utilities Commission this week.Liberty Utilities has asked to increase its rate from 11.11 cents per kilowatt-hour to 22.22 cents. “At Liberty, the cost of delivering energy to homes and businesses remains steady, but the increased wholesale cost of energy unfortunately means the rates must increase to reflect this global shift,” the utility said in a written statement. “As a regulated utility, Liberty will not benefit financially from this increase.”The utility said it has a program that allows customers to spread payments out over the course of a year, and it noted that households that previously didn’t qualify for financial assistance programs may now be eligible.Eversource has requested an increase from the current rate of 10.67 cents to 22.566 cents. The company said that adds about $70 per month for the average customer. A big portion of the electric rate has to do with the supply rate, according to William Hinkle, of Eversource.”That cost is directly passed through to our customers at exactly what we pay,” he said. “The company does not earn a profit from this.”Unitil, which is on a different filing time period, is reporting a decrease in its rates, with customers saving about $42.”Unitil is just coming off of our winter period, which runs from December to May,” said Alec O’Meara, of Unitil. “Our customers saw a decrease in the supply rate from the winter months to the summer of about 7.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. Those rates will be in effect from June 1 until the end of November.”Looking ahead to the winter, it’s unclear what will happen. The consumer advocate said these rates may be the worst of it, but given the global market for fuel, there’s a chance for increased costs in the future.

New Hampshire officials are warning residents to prepare for higher utility bills, with electricity rates expected to rise this year and one utility proposing more than a 100% increase.

According to the Office of the Consumer Advocate, several factors are at work in driving up energy costs. One is that New England heavily relies on natural gas, which means our electric bills in the region are tethered to the global market, which has been shaken by the war in Ukraine.

“Unfortunately, I have to deliver the bad news that consumers can expect some pretty drastic increases in their electric bills,” said consumer advocate Don Kreis.

Kries said a general increase of nearly 50% is expected.

“So basically, if your bill is $100, you can look at paying $150, more or less,” he said.

That price will depend on factors such as consumption and which provider a household uses. Some utility companies are filing rate changes with the Public Utilities Commission this week.

Liberty Utilities has asked to increase its rate from 11.11 cents per kilowatt-hour to 22.22 cents.

“At Liberty, the cost of delivering energy to homes and businesses remains steady, but the increased wholesale cost of energy unfortunately means the rates must increase to reflect this global shift,” the utility said in a written statement. “As a regulated utility, Liberty will not benefit financially from this increase.”

The utility said it has a program that allows customers to spread payments out over the course of a year, and it noted that households that previously didn’t qualify for financial assistance programs may now be eligible.

Eversource has requested an increase from the current rate of 10.67 cents to 22.566 cents. The company said that adds about $70 per month for the average customer.

A big portion of the electric rate has to do with the supply rate, according to William Hinkle, of Eversource.

“That cost is directly passed through to our customers at exactly what we pay,” he said. “The company does not earn a profit from this.”

Unitil, which is on a different filing time period, is reporting a decrease in its rates, with customers saving about $42.

“Unitil is just coming off of our winter period, which runs from December to May,” said Alec O’Meara, of Unitil. “Our customers saw a decrease in the supply rate from the winter months to the summer of about 7.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. Those rates will be in effect from June 1 until the end of November.”

Looking ahead to the winter, it’s unclear what will happen. The consumer advocate said these rates may be the worst of it, but given the global market for fuel, there’s a chance for increased costs in the future.

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