Cut costs

Customers of Eversource, New Hampshire’s largest electricity provider, will see their bills spike 19 percent on Aug. 1. The state Public Utilities Commission approved the rate increase earlier this month.

Eversource and New Hampshire officials said this rate increase will remain in place for six months.

“This is a direct pass-through cost to customers for the price of power generation, with no profit to Eversource,” company officials state on their website.

The cost for customers will go from 7.903 cents per kilowatt hour to 9.412 cents per kilowatt hour on Aug. 1.

“We’re always mindful of the effect energy supply increases have on our customers, particularly those who are facing difficult financial circumstances. We urge customers to make full use of our energy efficiency programs to help reduce their usage, tighten-up their homes and keep their energy bills down,” Eversource Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Penni Conner said.

There are numerous possibilities when considering how to reduce electricity bills. From the standpoint of the consumer, acts as simple as turning of the TV or computer at night can make a difference, as can cutting back on air conditioning until it is clearly needed.

In terms of actions by government and business, the potential long-term benefits of renewable generation should receive greater emphasis. As long as the sun shines, the wind blows and the water flows, Americans may be foolish for not doing more to harness the natural energy such actions create.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a division of the Department of Energy, the vast majority of New Hampshire’s electricity comes from nuclear generation.

In fact, information from EIA indicates the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant, by itself, generated 57 percent of the Granite State’s electricity last year.

Other forms of generation for electricity used in New Hampshire include hydroelectric, coal, natural gas and “non-hydroelectric renewables,” a category which includes solar and wind power.

Perhaps more could be done with renewables in New Hampshire. Currently, homes and businesses located in Nashua or Hudson are eligible for the Solarize+ campaign. Through Aug. 31, this program offers group discounts on solar installations.

Another local example of taking advantage of renewable resources is the Mine Falls Park hydroelectric plant in Nashua.

Keeping electricity affordable is, therefore, the responsibility of both the consumer and the provider. Customers must do their part by being more efficient, while those who generate electricity should be working to ensure a long-term solution that places more emphasis on renewables.