PLYMOUTH — Driven by a decrease in the seasonal cost of energy, summer period electric bills will be going down by nearly 6% for most members of New Hampshire Electric Cooperative.
Effective with bills rendered May 1, the co-op power portion of members’ bills, the cost of actual energy, will decrease by 13%, while the regional access charge, the cost of transmission grid services, will decrease by 4%. The result for a typical residential member using 500 kilowatt hours per month will be an overall bill decrease of 5.7%, or $6.33 per month. The typical residential member using 1,000 kWh per month will see a total bill decrease of 6.6%, or $12.65 per month. The new summer period rate is less than 1% higher than the 2018 summer period rate.
The rate reductions were approved on March 26 by the NHEC Board of Directors, continuing an annual pattern of higher power costs in the winter months and lower power costs in the summer months. One of the main reasons for this is the seasonal variations in the regional wholesale price of natural gas, which is used to generate approximately half of the electricity produced in New England.
Over the past several years, electric rates during the six-month summer period of May 1-Oct. 31 have been substantially lower than the winter period. Natural gas demand increases sharply during the winter months due to its use as a heating fuel. This increased demand drives up the cost of generating electricity. This can also lead to constraints in the region’s natural gas pipeline infrastructure leading to price spikes during cold spells, further impacting the cost of electricity.
The May 1 rate change results in a 13% decrease in the co-op power rate. A complete list of NHEC rates and fees is available under the Rates & Tariffs menu by visiting www.nhec.com.