Retail Unbundling - New Hampshire

Status: The state has no unbundled services for residential customers but is considering action.

Overview: On September 14, 1998, the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved a collaborative process for addressing unbundling and competition in the gas industry. An interim progress report was submitted on June 1, 1999, which emphasized the need for thorough review at each step in the restructuring process and estimated that the earliest date for possibly offering residential choice, "if found appropriate," would be 2002. One of the most contentious issues raised during the collaborative process was the disposition of gas capacity contracts held by the local distribution companies (LDCs). Marketers disagreed with the recommendation of other parties in the collaborative that the PUC implement a program of 100-percent mandatory capacity assignment. This disagreement resulted in the marketers generally withdrawing from further participation in meetings. The collaborative group (minus marketers) issued its final report on March 10, 2000, which was approved by the PUC in May 2000. The report recommended that unbundling efforts be first directed at further unbundling in the smaller commercial/industrial sector before any consideration of unbundling for residential customers. The report included a proposed model delivery tariff for PUC approval and proposed regulations related to supplier and aggregator registration, consumer protection, and utility/affiliate standards of conduct. In April 2001, the PUC approved new rate designs for Northern Utilities and EnergyNorth Natural Gas that provides for unbundled service to commercial and industrial customers on a non-daily metered basis effective November 2001.

EIA State Profile: In 2001, New Hampshire had 84,760 residential and 15,068 commercial customers. Each sector consumed about 7 billion cubic feet of natural gas. The average prices paid for natural gas purchased from local distribution companies by residential and commercial customers were $12.75 and $11.15 per thousand cubic feet, respectively. The average city gate price in New Hampshire was $4.30 per thousand cubic feet.

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File last modified: 01/31/2003