A very friendly ‘no’ from federal energy regulators is bad news for consumers

Cost-of-service rate treatment is exactly what we supposedly got away from by restructuring the electric industry to eliminate old-fashioned, vertically integrated utility monopolies.  The parade of generators begging for a return to the good old days could well include facilities like Seabrook, Merrimack and Schiller stations.

Retail electricity in New Hampshire: Buyer Beware

But New Hampshire’s electric customers have paid dearly for restructuring – by my rough count, about $1 billion in so-called “stranded” costs.  This money went to the former monopoly utilities to make them whole after being forced to sell off their generation assets to companies like Exelon.

Justice Souter Is Still a Ratepayer’s Rock Star 30 Years Later in PSNH Case

The date was August 5, 1988.  Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH) had recently declared bankruptcy, the first electric utility in the U.S. to do that since the Great Depression.  The crushing debt and massive cost overruns associated with the Seabrook nuclear power plant had sucked PSNH dry.

Decoupling: Not Just for Unhappy Spouses, But Utilities, Too

So if you were looking to pay someone to promote the benefits of replacing beef with brussels sprouts, Five Guys would not be on your short list.  And, yet, when it comes to ratepayer-funded energy efficiency, we’re doing the equivalent of paying Five Guys to persuade people to eat fewer hamburgers.

Subsidy Season at State House For Wood-Burning Plants?

Nine hundred good jobs are at stake, co-sponsors told the House Committee on Science, Technology and Energy Committee last Wednesday at the hearing on Senate Bill 446.  Representative Herb Richardson (R- Lancaster) thinks the total is more like 1,500.