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Eversource Requests Approval to Strengthen Reliability and Resiliency

June 19, 2024
Company files distribution rate review request with regulators; also plans to file new electric supply rate with the PUC on June 13.

To further strengthen the electric system in New Hampshire and enhance reliability for customers, Eversource filed a request last week with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to update its distribution rates through a comprehensive rate review process that provides transparency and the opportunity for public input. This rate adjustment would allow Eversource to continue making targeted, thoughtful investments in the electric system like automation technology, tree trimming, and hardening infrastructure against more frequent and severe storms.

“We’re always working to better serve our customers, and as a result, they are experiencing fewer and shorter outages thanks to the strategic investments we’ve made in the communities we serve,” said Eversource Senior Vice President for Customer Operations and Digital Strategy Jared Lawrence. “By implementing innovative technologies – like smart switches – onto the system, more than half of all customer outages last year were restored in fewer than five minutes by our remote system operators outside of severe weather.”

If approved as proposed, starting Aug. 1, customers will see an increase to the distribution rate, which is within the delivery portion of their electric bill. A typical residential electric customer using 600 kWh per month would see a total bill increase of about $9, or 7%. Then, on Aug. 1, 2025, residential customers would see an additional increase of about $13, or 10%, which is a total increase of about 17% over the two years. This adjustment is necessary to cover past investments – including expenses associated with power restoration efforts following more frequent and unpredictable extreme weather, vegetation management, and upgrades to improve system reliability for all customers – and it will enable future investments that will continue to strengthen the electric system, upgrade aging electric infrastructure nearing the end of its useful life, and further enable the integration of customer solar, among others.

Since Eversource’s last distribution rate review in 2019, the energy company has invested more than $765 million into its electric distribution system in New Hampshire and remains focused on continued strategic investment and planning that improve reliability and meet the future needs of customers. Costs to build and maintain the electric system have increased over time with supply chain challenges exacerbating the rising cost of materials. For example, on average, the cost of a utility pole has increased nearly 30%, the cost of a transformer has increased about 130%, and the cost for a spool of distribution wire has increased nearly 50% since 2019.

“It has been five years since our last base distribution rate review, and our customers have seen greater reliability as a result of those system investments,” Lawrence continued. “At the same time, the costs to build and maintain the electric distribution system and serve customers have increased and the distribution rate has not kept pace with those increasing costs.”

As one of the most heavily forested states in the country, trees are the primary cause of power outages in New Hampshire, and this year, the energy company is investing about $40 million into its comprehensive tree trimming program, compared to $27 million in 2018. In addition, New Hampshire is seeing stronger and more frequent storms resulting in significant damage to the system and increased power restoration costs, with three of the top-10 most impactful storms in the company’s history occurring between December 2022 and March 2023. The request will also further enable investments that Eversource makes to improve system resiliency, including the installation of thicker, stronger poles and wires that help better withstand storm impacts.

Also included in Eversource’s filing is a proposal for Performance-Based Rates (PBR), which builds on the company’s success to efficiently manage operating costs. By establishing metrics to transparently measure performance in customer-focused areas of reliability, customer satisfaction, solar generator interconnections, and others, PBR provides more stable, predictable electric bills for customers and avoids the need for larger and more frequent base-rate increases.

In addition, Eversource is scheduled to file its updated Default Energy Service, or supply rate, with the PUC after it receives bids from power generators this week. The energy company anticipates that those costs it receives from power generators will increase for New Hampshire customers and will communicate the final proposed adjustment to customers once it is filed with the PUC. The Default Energy Service Rate adjusts twice a year – February 1 and August 1 – and represents the cost Eversource pays generators for the power that customers use with no markup. The supply rate change only applies to customers in New Hampshire who receive Eversource’s Default Service Rate and not those who receive their energy supply from a community power program or an alternative supplier.

About the Author


At Eversource, Energy Brings Us Together. We live in the neighborhoods we serve, working for a better tomorrow. We're nearly 10,000 people committed to providing safe, reliable and sustainable electric, gas and water service in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire. Our operations trace their roots back to the middle of the 19th century. Through the decades, many companies have come together to form Eversource, New England’s largest energy delivery company. Today, we’re proud to serve 4.4 million customers. Like our predecessor companies, we’re focused on supporting every one of our communities, to power the possible for New England.

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