Keep rates reasonable

Utility provider Eversource Energy earned more than $1 billion in 2018, including $231 million during the last three months of the year, alone.

According to the company’s 2018 earnings report, Eversource serves nearly 4 million electricity, natural gas and water customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The 2018 results reflect an increase of approximately $45 million in comparison to 2017.

“We completed a very successful year in 2018 for both our customers and shareholders. We continued to provide top-tier levels of safe and reliable electric, natural gas and water service for nearly 4 million New England customers, despite some significant challenges that Mother Nature threw our way,” Eversource Chairman, President and CEO Jim Judge said of the 2018 results. “We also continued to provide our shareholders with an attractive and growing dividend and strong share price performance. We also provided strong leadership in helping our region achieve its ambitious environmental and carbon emission reduction goals.”

Despite the strong 2018 earnings, the utility now wants to increase rates for New Hampshire electricity customers by a total of $33 million. Eversource formally filed the request with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission last week.

The firm estimates a typical residential customer will see his or her monthly bill increase by about $3.50 because of this move, which Eversource hopes will take effect on July 1.

“We’ve had a steadfast commitment to enhancing the reliability of the electric grid, making it more resilient to New England’s extreme weather,” Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan said regarding the $1 billion worth of infrastructure upgrades he estimates the company has made during the last 10 years. He said continued system improvements are the main driver for the rate hike plan.

While $3.50 for an entire month may not seem all that much, some of the company’s New Hampshire customers will certainly pay more than this.

We ask Commissioners Martin P. Honigberg, Kathryn M. Bailey and Michael S. Giaimo to carefully consider this proposed increase. Again, $3.50 per month may not be much, but New Hampshire residents and businesses deserve to know the members of their Public Utilities Commission are working to keep electricity rates as reasonable as possible.