Take control of electric bills


State Rep. Peter Somssich is a member of the Science Technology & Energy Committee.

Most New Hampshire residents have seen their electricity bills increase dramatically within the last month. It is frustrating, and everyone is looking for someone to blame.

Some recent opinions blame our utility companies for gouging us and charging outrageous rates. However, as our Consumer Advocate Don Kreis explained in numerous pieces, this is not true.

Here in New Hampshire our utilities are regulated by law and are not allowed to profit from the sale of electricity to customers. They make their profits from the distribution charges and other services (not supply charges for electricity). In fact, it is the oil and gas companies and the fossil fuel processors that are most likely overcharging for their products, because they can charge whatever they can get.

With the global fuel crisis and the war in Ukraine driving up the demand and the price of natural gas, they sell at the highest price, whether in the US, Europe or Asia. So, what can residents in New Hampshire do? We have the power to purchase electricity from third party suppliers, and it is not complicated. In fact, more than 80% of New Hampshire businesses are already doing this, resulting in lower rates, stable contracts and even buying 100% renewable electricity, instead of only the 12.9% contained in the utility’s offering.

For the last six years, I have been purchasing 100% renewable energy from a third party supplier. Once I signed the contract for my two meters for one to two years, I continued to pay my monthly bill, including the supply charge, which went to my third party supplier.

Interested? Go to the NH Public Utilities (PUC) website. From the top tabs select ‘consumer’ then ‘choose an energy supplier, and then ‘comparison.’ You’ll see a list. The second column describes the kind of energy, while the third column gives you the rate, the term of the contract 6 to 27 months, and finally the first column provides the name of the company, a phone number and a ‘sign-up’ button.

If you need any assistance, contact the Office of the Consumer Advocate, who assures me that they are eager to help. Do this soon, because rates offered are constantly changing. Yes, the rate may be only 2-3 cents per kWh cheaper ( a $22. saving), however, it is locked in. And if you always wanted 100% renewables you can get that too.

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