To The Daily Sun,
I write to add some essential facts to your recent articles, "Eversource shelves deposit policy after Laconia rep draws attention to it," and the subsequent, "Demand for security deposit has long-time electric company customer seeing red."
Eversource's residential security deposit policy is one that has been in place for more than 20 years. The vast majority of our customers pay their monthly bill on time. The objective of the deposit policy is to protect those customers from the burden of costs produced by customers whose payment patterns are inconsistent or unreliable. The rules guiding the deposit policy are set by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission and are applicable to all utilities, not just electric.
These rules also distinguish between residential and commercial customers, and the winter moratorium recently enacted for residential customers does not apply to commercial customers. The business owner highlighted in your paper's second story falls into the latter category, but that point was not included in your article.
With all of this in mind, it is worth noting that the issuance of a residential deposit request is a last resort after a customer has received at least four disconnect notices in a 12-month period. Deposit requests are not made of medically dependent customers, of those 65 or older, or of customers who may be receiving any one of a number of forms of assistance (whether public or through a private organization). Furthermore, there are a number of arrangements a customer can make with Eversource to have the deposit request waived.
Deposits that are collected are held in escrow and refunded after the customer has reestablished a consistent, on-time payment history — 12 consecutive payments for residential customers.
Again, nearly all of Eversource's customers either consistently pay their bills on time or have reached out to us to make arrangements. We encourage anyone who is struggling to stay current on their electric bill, for any reason, to contact us so we can help.