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Selected Commission Orders Regarding the Electric Assistance Program

  • Order No. 23,980 (May 30, 2002) – Approved statewide tiered discount program; rehearing denied in Order No. 24,013 (July 24, 2002).

  • Order No. 24,036 ( Aug 16, 2002) – Directed utilities to contract with the Lead CAA for administration of the electric assistance program; approved procedures manuals subject to modifications; approved monitoring and evaluation recommendations; and ordered utilities to set aside 10% of SBC revenue as reserve.

  • Order No. 24,329 (May 21, 2004) – Approved first year expenses for EAP (2002-2003); authorized utilities to recover administrative costs after associated program year; required CVEC to return reserve funds following sale of NH service area to PSNH; increased income-eligibility threshold from 150% to 185% of FPG; revised pre-program arrears forgiveness benefit by removing the requirement that the customer’s balance be incurred prior to August 30, 2002; revised the definition of “new customer” to mean any customer new to the electric assistance program; and capped the forgiveness benefit at $1,000. In addition, authorized payment of interest on the reserve fund, the cessation of the collection of the reserve fund as of September 30, 2003, and changes to the appeal and recertification processes.

  • Order No. 24,542 (Nov 4, 2005) – Authorized modifications to transfers to utility specific program reserve and prioritization of waiting list.

  • Order No. 24,664 (9/1/06) – Approved electric assistance program design changes to serve 30,000 households and provide a range of discount levels based on goal of bringing average bill for low-income households to 4.5% of household income; maintained system benefits charge at 1.2 mills per kWh; approved tier discount structure and use of federal poverty guidelines (FPG), rather than household income alone, to determine benefit level (six benefit levels ranging from at or below 75% of FPG and 185% of FPG); established uniform discount levels across all utilities; and ordered utilities to explore more billing and discount options prior to submission of recommendations for 2007-2008 program year.

  • Order No. 24,696 (Nov 8, 2006) – Approved 2006-2007 budgets and addressed impact of 2005 NH Laws Ch. 298 (temporary emergency assistance program). Discussed opening a proceeding to consider ways to streamline administrative processes and reduce administrative costs of the electric assistance program. Made determinations about the recoverability of certain costs incurred by the Community Action agencies and reviewed the amounts and types of administrative costs incurred since October 1, 2003.

  • Order No. 24,795 (Oct 24, 2007) – Approved, as modified, certain changes recommended for the administration and operation of the electric assistance program (i.e., recertification of program participants; definition of role of Advisory Board and frequency of meetings; process evaluation every 3 years; impact evaluation every 6 years; CAA audits. Commission approved electric assistance program budgets for 2007-2008.

  • Order No. 24,820 ( Jan 30, 2008) – Approved program goals, outcomes, and procedures contained in a revised monitoring and evaluation manual governing the electric assistance program. Agreed that the estimated cost of conducting a formal impact evaluation of the electric assistance program would outweigh the value of any conclusions drawn thereby and would serve only to reduce the amount of financial assistance actually available to program participants.

  • Order No. 24,903 (Sep 30, 2008) – Approved 2008-2009 budgets and increased the system benefits charge from 1.2 mils to 1.5 mils.

  • Order No. 25,200 (Mar 4, 2011) – Eliminated tier 1 and implemented a usage cap of 700 kWh/month. Increased eligibility threshold from 175% of FPG to 200% of FPG.

  • Order No. 25,544 (Jul 15, 2013) - Approved increase in the usage cap from 700 to 750 kWh per month as well as a temporary two year increase of 10% to each of the program's discount tiers.

  • Order No. 25,643 (Mar 28, 2014) – Approved an increase to the maximum income eligibility level from 175% to 200% of FPG; further increased (above increases approved in Order No. 25,544) three of the program's discount tiers; and restarted the two year period for the temporary increases approved in Order No. 25,544.

  • Order No. 25,749 ( January 8, 2015) – Approved the use of low-income system benefit charge funds to provided assistance outside of the EAP. Funds were provided to the utility run Neighbor Helping Neighbor and Project Care programs to make financial assistance available to more customers who would typically be excluded from other financial assistance programs.

  • Order No. 25,901 ( May 13, 2016) – Approved a 1% reduction to electric assistance program discounts percentages and kept income eligibility threshold at 200% of FPG.