This winter customers of Liberty Utilities and Unitil will see their electricity rates increase roughly 50%. The New Hampshire Electric Co-op is also increasing electricity rates, although less dramatically. Public Service of New Hampshire has yet to file with the Public Utilities Commission for a rate change.
A shortage of natural gas pipeline is the reason for the rate increases. In the winter, natural gas is used for heating homes and businesses, meaning less gas is available for electricity generation.
In 2014 Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) worked with the Governors of Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island to develop a plan for new natural gas pipeline. That plan stalled out when Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick asked to consider alternatives. He faced pressure from some environmental groups to develop other renewable energy sources instead.
New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Jennifer Horn sees the issue differently. She filed a Right to Know request last week seeking any government communications regarding the electricity rate increases.
"Granite State residents have the right to know whether you were aware of the forthcoming energy crisis, did nothing about it and deflected questions regarding it, or if you were simply asleep at the wheel on this issue," Horn wrote to the state.
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