PLYMOUTH — Electricity bills are going up by an average of $12.69 per month for customers of the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative this winter.
The New Hampshire Electric Cooperative board of directors has approved rate changes effective with bills rendered Nov. 1 that will result in an overall bill increase of 14.2 percent, or $12.69 per month, for a typical residential member using 500 kilowatt-hours per month.
The rate increase is the result of increases in two portions of members' bills – Co-op Power (the actual electricity used) and the Regional Access Charge (the cost to access the regional transmission grid in order to get power to the NHEC distribution system). For most members, the Co-op Power rate is increasing 42 percent, from 5.4 cents per kWh to 7.6 cents per kWh. By comparison, that is 25 percent lower than last winter's Co-op Power rate of 9.5 cents per kWh.
For most members the Regional Access Charge is increasing 12.5 percent during this winter period, from 2.4 cents per kWh to 2.7 cents per kWh. Driving this increase are the continued costs of major investments being made in the region's bulk transmission facilities that move large amounts of power from generators to points throughout New England.
Electric rates typically increase during the winter months, due to higher wholesale electricity costs. The same conditions that have caused New England electric rates to spike for the past four winters are still to blame for this latest seasonal increase. Though natural gas prices remain low at the wellhead, a lack of adequate pipeline capacity into New England means that power producers will be competing again this winter with home heating for limited natural gas supplies. This causes a significant delivery premium to be added to the wellhead price for natural gas, which is used to generate more than half of the electricity produced in New England.
NHEC is encouraging members to mitigate the effects of higher winter rates by conserving and, when possible, participating in NHEC's Energy Solutions programs. Energy efficiency improvements can help members save energy and money year-round. NHEC provides a full slate of energy-saving opportunities for residential, commercial and municipal members. Complete details are available online at www.nhec.com/energysolutions. Members can also view and manage their electric usage on SmartHub, NHEC's online home for account management at www.nhec.com
- Category: Local News
- Hits: 812