The History of Deregulation in New Hampshire
Without a doubt, competition and choice are cornerstones of the free market, as they give you the power as the consumer to secure the best possible service at the best possible price.
How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
The residents of New Hampshire didn't always have the power to choose the right electric supplier for their homes. Before deregulation, the utility companies generated, supplied, and delivered all of the electricity in the state. That meant towns and cities were served by a single provider, giving customers no opportunity to shop for better service and prices. While this system is still a reality in other states, New Hampshire customers now enjoy energy choice!
In 1996, the New Hampshire legislature passed RSA 374-F, beginning the process of deregulation, and it was the first state in the nation to do so. This law asked the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission to issue a statewide restructuring plan of all its utilities. These investor-owned utility companies divested much of its generation fleet, but continued to transmit and deliver power to customers.
The idea behind deregulation was to create structures that encouraged more buyers and sellers to enter the market and foster innovation. This spurred a number of lawsuits from the utilities, so customers saw deregulation come online at different times, depending on where they lived.
What Does Energy Choice Mean?
Today, all New Hampshire residents can choose an electric supplier in one of two ways: from a regulated supplier or a competitive energy supplier.
- A regulated company is the default provider in your area. If you request electric service, you automatically get electricity from the default provider, and its rates are regulated by the NHPUC.
- If you choose to get your power from a competitive energy supplier, its rates are not overseen by the NHPUC.
On your bill, you will see that you pay a supply fee, which would go to your energy supplier, as well as a delivery fee, which always goes to your default provider. No matter who you choose as your competitive energy supplier, you will always pay that same delivery fee to the utility company that services your area.
How Can I Benefit from Energy Choice?
To find the best rates for energy supply, you will have to do some legwork. To find the electric provider that fits your needs, start shopping at the NHPUC website. Choose your default provider, and a list of competitive energy suppliers available in your area will appear, complete with links to each company's website describing its rates and services.
Once you have selected a New Hampshire electric supplier, deregulation gives you the chance to conserve electricity and save even more.
- Learn more about rebate programs offered in your area.
- When it comes time to replace appliances and other electric devices, check into energy-efficient models.
- And make it a priority in your family to practice energy-saving tips, such as turning off the lights and TV when no one's in the room, and choosing shorter cycles on your washer and dryer.
Combined with the choice provided by electric deregulation and putting in place some kilowatt-saving tactics at home, New Hampshire residents can maximize savings — and lower those utility bills.