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April 02. 2014 10:50PM

Report on PSNH power plants heartens utility's competitors

CONCORD — Public Service of New Hampshire competitors in the energy market applauded the report issued on Tuesday by regulators suggesting that the utility shed its power plants and complete the deregulation process that began more than 10 years ago.

“The (PUC) staff’s report is a positive development for New Hampshire consumers because it continues the necessary process toward ultimately directing PSNH to divest its generation resources,” said Stuart Ormsbee, chairman of the Retail Energy Supply Association, the group that represents many of the PSNH competitors in the energy market.

“As the report concludes, divestiture will ultimately unburden PSNH ratepayers from paying to maintain these uneconomic resources,” he said.

The EmpowerNH coalition, which includes the Conservation Law Foundation along with competitive energy suppliers ENH Power and North American Power, also reacted favorably.

“The report shows that through a wide variety of scenarios, PSNH’s energy service rates are currently, and will continue to be, uncompetitive with rates available in the marketplace,” said coalition spokesperson Michelline Dufort.

“In the new report, the PUC staff finds, as it did in last June’s report, that PSNH’s power plants are uneconomic and driving up PSNH rates, and are worth much less than PSNH customers are paying for them,” she said. “Allowing for more energy sources and providers will mean major savings for all consumers by promoting competition and innovation in the marketplace.”

Dan Dolan, president of the New England Power Generators Association, representing power plant owners who are not regulated, said the report confirms what his group has been saying for the past two years.

“The current structure is completely unsustainable,” he said. “Every day that consumers have to provide guaranteed cost recovery and guaranteed profits for these plants is a missed opportunity to ensure competitive power prices for all New Hampshire consumers.”

-- Dave Solomon, New Hampshire Union Leader


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