Four electric distribution companies operate in New
Hampshire, each serving a mutually exclusive franchise
territory. They include: Public Service Company of New
Hampshire (PSNH), Granite State Electric Company (GSEC),
Unitil Energy Systems, Inc. (UES) (formerly Concord
Electric Company and Exeter and Hampton Electric Company),
and the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, Inc. (NHEC).
In 1996, the New Hampshire Legislature enacted RSA
374-F, a statute which directed the Public Utilities
Commission (the Commission) to develop a statewide restructuring
plan to implement electric retail choice for all customers
by January 1, 1998. The Commission issued a restructuring
plan in February 1997, although its implementation was
slowed by subsequent litigation that constrained the
Commission to consider only voluntary filings of settlement
agreements or compliance plans. As a result, electric
utilities in New Hampshire restructured at different
times and in somewhat different ways.
GSEC was the first electric utility to restructure,
doing so in August 1998. PSNH followed in May 2001.
The UES companies, which merged in December of 2002,
introduced retail choice as of May 1, 2003. Although competitive suppliers are welcome
to provide service in restructured franchise areas,
most residential customers receive Default Energy Service.
PSNH, a subsidiary of Northeast Utilities, serves
approximately 70 percent of the retail customers in
New Hampshire. The company serves geographically and
demographically diverse areas, ranging from urban, southern
areas to rural, northern areas of the state. PSNH, which
sold its share of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Facility
in December 2002 in compliance with RSA 369-B and the
PSNH Restructuring Settlement Agreement, still owns
fossil and hydropower facilities. In January 2004, PSNH
acquired Connecticut Valley Electric Company (CVEC).
See Order No. 24,176. CVEC, which operated in the western
region of the state, served approximately 2 percent
of the retail customers in New Hampshire. CVEC’s customers
became customers of PSNH and now pay the same rates
as other PSNH customers. Following the completion
of the acquisition, CVEC and Central Vermont Public
Service Company (CVPS) withdrew their claims in Federal
court and at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC), thus resolving all remaining restructuring-related
GSEC, whose franchise territory includes western and southern areas of the state, serves approximately 6 percent of the retail customers in New Hampshire. With the completion of a transfer of ownership in mid-2012, GSEC (formerly a subsidiary of National Grid) became a subsidiary of Liberty Utilities.
UES, a subsidiary of Unitil Corporation, was formed
when Unitil consolidated two former subsidiaries, Concord
Electric Company, and Exeter and Hampton Electric Company.
On a combined basis, these companies serve approximately
11 percent of New Hampshire’s retail customers
in both the Seacoast and Capital areas.
NHEC provides electric service to about 11 percent
of retail customers throughout the central part of New