CONCORD — The Public Utilities Commission has put on hold Eversource’s plans for a rate increase set to take effect July 1.
The PUC issued an order last week, saying the proposed increase requires further discussion and scheduled a hearing for June 21.
Eversource requested increases of about $70 million in an effort to recoup investments the utility made over the past decade.
The proposals included a temporary increase that the PUC suspended in an order last month and a permanent rate increase, which the PUC suspended in the order dated Friday.
"The PUC will consider our request for a temporary distribution rate adjustment in a hearing on June 18 and we anticipate the PUC will issue an order on our request following that hearing," wrote Eversource spokesman Kaitlyn Woods in a statement.
Commissioners wrote in the order dated Friday that “Eversource’s proposed tariff provisions include a general increase in rates and require further investigation." Pursuant to state law, “we suspend the proposed tariffs until such time that the commission has held a hearing and ruled on the merits of the proposed rates,” the order stated.
Eversource said it has made more than $1 billion in investments over the past decade, including the costs of vegetation management and system reliability upgrades in addition to repairs from major storms.
“We appreciate the PUC’s thorough and prudent consideration of our proposal, and we will continue to work closely with our regulators to provide any details needed for their first review of our distribution rates in more than 10 years,” stated Woods.
“This order provides a path forward for our proposal to continue investments in system reliability for the benefit of our customers and to advance a clean energy future here in the Granite State.”
Consumer advocates argued that Eversource has already recouped some of those costs through previous rate increases.
The PUC scheduled a hearing on June 21 for Eversource and any opponents of the proposed increases to state their positions directly to commissioners.