New Hampshire Approves Higher Default Service Rate at PSNH for 2014
December 27, 2013 Email This Story Copyright 2010-13 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Karen Abbott • firstname.lastname@example.org
The New Hampshire PUC has approved a new default energy service rate at Public Service Company of New Hampshire for the period beginning January 1, 2014.
The adopted 2014 PSNH default service rate is 9.23 cents per kWh, which includes the temporary scrubber rate of 0.98 cents/kWh.
The currently applicable 2013 PSNH default service rate is 8.62 cents per kWh.
In the review of the 2014 default service rate, North American Power had argued that PSNH, by using the current migration level to set forecast default service volumes, was under-forecasting migration to competitive supply, resulting in a lower default service rate (since there would be more default service customers over which to recover fixed costs).
The PUC declined to make any adjustments to the 2014 default service rate as filed by PSNH due to the migration forecast, but said that, "we find some merit to the use of a projected migration rate, [although] we do not find the trend line developed by NAPG to be appropriate."
"We do consider, however, that a projection of customer migration is a key factor for PSNH to utilize in estimating its load forecast for any upcoming service period. Therefore, we find it reasonable to require PSNH in its September 2014 filing (for the 2015 energy service rate) to include a migration forecast and testimony that discusses the Company's expectations regarding the movement of customer migration for the forthcoming period. We will not, however, direct PSNH to use a specific methodology in the development of a customer migration indicator, but instead leave to PSNH the development of a migration forecast methodology it deems sound," the PUC ordered.
Another issue in the case was the setting of PSNH's default service rates for one year (with a potential change after six months), with a reconciliation of actual costs after delivery.
The PUC said that this format for setting default rates is necessitated in part due to PSNH's ownership of generation, and noted that there is an ongoing review of PSNH's generation ownership.
"Given the investigation, we have concluded that it is inappropriate for the Commission to review the energy service rate-setting and reconciliation process currently in place until such time as that investigation is concluded. Depending on the results of the investigation, we will re-examine the merits of the current process used to set rates for PSNH and consider suitable alternatives that are consistent with statutory requirements," the PUC said.