Concord, NH – The Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA) provides the following statements in response to the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission staff report finding that continued ownership of generation facilities by Public Service Co. of New Hampshire is unsustainable:
“Competition in New Hampshire’s retail electricity market is thriving for large industrial and commercial customers and is now starting to blossom for residential and small business consumers, who increasingly have opportunities for savings and value-added products such as green energy. Maintaining PSNH’s ownership of electricity generation facilities with the costs supported by the utility’s customers puts those savings and innovative products and services at risk,” said RESA President Melissa Lauderdale.
“It’s time for PSNH to embrace the long overdue restructuring of New Hampshire’s electricity market,” said Dan Allegretti, RESA’s New England chair. “Generating facilities that operate in New Hampshire’s competitive wholesale market are more efficient and cost-effective and those savings are passed along to consumers.”
RESA encourages New Hampshire policy makers to revisit the 2003 law allowing PSNH to maintain ownership of its power plants and to pass those costs on to an increasingly smaller pool of customers.
The Public Utility Commission’s staff report is an important step forward in that regard. In directing staff to undertake the study, the PUC quoted the motivation behind the 1996 law restructuring New Hampshire’s electricity market to foster competition:
The most compelling reason to restructure the New Hampshire electric utility industry is to reduce costs for all consumers of electricity by harnessing the power of competitive markets. The overall public policy goal of restructuring is to develop a more efficient industry structure and regulatory framework that results in a more productive economy by reducing costs to consumers while maintaining safe and reliable electric service with minimum adverse impacts on the environment. Increased customer choice and the development of competitive markets for wholesale and retail electricity services are key elements in a restructured industry that will require unbundling of prices and services and at least functional separation of centralized generation services from transmission and distribution services.
Unfortunately, the restructuring law as amended in 2003 stops short of promoting a fully competitive electricity market in New Hampshire by allowing PSNH to maintain ownership of its generating plants and to pass the costs of those power plants on to its retail customers.
“New Hampshire must complete the transition to a fully competitive market and end consumer financial support of PSNH’s uneconomic generation assets,” Lauderdale said.
“To maintain the status quo subjects New Hampshire’s consumers and the state’s economy to unnecessary risk,” said Allegretti.
RESA represents competitive energy suppliers dedicated to creating and sustaining vibrantly competitive electricity and natural gas markets for the benefit of consumers. RESA’s members include: AEP Energy, Inc.; Champion Energy Services, LLC; ConEdison Solutions; Constellation NewEnergy, Inc.; Direct Energy Services, LLC; GDF SUEZ Energy Resources NA, Inc.; Hess Corporation; Homefield Energy; IDT Energy; Integrys Energy Services, Inc.; Just Energy; Liberty Power; MC Squared Energy Services, LLC; Mint Energy, LLC; NextEra Energy Services; Noble Americas Energy Solutions LLC; NRG, Inc.; PPL EnergyPlus, LLC; Stream Energy; TransCanada Power Marketing Ltd. and TriEagle Energy, L.P. For more information about RESA please contact Tracy McCormick, Executive Director, at (717) 566-5405, or visit www.resausa.org.