Unitil seeks a rate increase for NH customers to fund grid modernization plans

Unitil Corporation said last week that its New Hampshire electric distribution utility, Unitil Energy Systems, Inc., filed a base rate case with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission requesting approval to change distribution rates for all customers.

UES’s multi-year rate filing includes proposed initiatives to advance New Hampshire’s energy, environmental, and regulatory policies, and to enable customers to adopt new technologies and better manage their energy consumption, it said in a press release.

Those proposals include foundational investments needed to modernize the electric grid, time of use rates for electric vehicle charging and other residential uses, an electric vehicle infrastructure development program, a revenue decoupling mechanism, resiliency programs, and an arrearage management program for customers experiencing difficulty in paying their energy bills.

The proposal also includes certain provisions intended to mitigate the rate filing’s effect on customer rates, and to limit future rate increases.   

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UES requested an electric base rate increase of $11.99 million, or 4.4 percent over total annual revenue at present rates. If the rates are approved as filed, the typical residential electric customer using an average of 600 kWh a month would see an increase of $9.87 per month, or 8.2 percent. Effects on individual customers will vary depending on rate class and usage characteristics.

This filing will be subject to comprehensive review by the Commission in a base rate case proceeding that may last up to a year or more. The Company’s last base rate case was filed in 2016.

Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company with operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, serving approximately 107,100 electric customers and 85,600 natural gas customers.

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Jennifer Runyon manages content on Renewable Energy World and POWERGRID International and also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH International. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com

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