Voting Underway in 2020 Election

PLYMOUTH, NH (May 21, 2020) – Voting is underway in the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) annual election. As a member-owned, democratic electric cooperative, NHEC members vote each year on the organization’s Board of Directors and proposed bylaw changes. This year NHEC members will vote to fill three seats on NHEC’s Board of Directors.

NHEC members have until Tuesday, June 16, 2020 to return their completed paper ballot or cast their electronic ballot via a secure, online portal. Election results will be announced at the 81st Annual Meeting of Members, to be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 22. Due to ongoing restrictions on public gatherings, the annual meeting will be conducted online, with no physical location. To register to attend the online meeting, please visit www.nhec.com/2020-annual-meeting. All NHEC members are welcome to attend and will be able to interact with presenters.

Five candidates are seeking election this year to three seats on NHEC’s 11-member Board of Directors. Four candidates were selected by the NHEC Nominating Committee, which reviews the qualifications of each candidate and recommends those it feels would best contribute to the successful operation of NHEC. A fifth candidate was nominated by petition, which according to NHEC Bylaws, must be signed by at least 100 current NHEC members.

This year’s candidates selected by the Nominating Committee include Leo Dwyer of Sandwich, Madeline McElaney of Plymouth, Mark Portu of Lincoln, and Harry Viens of Center Harbor. William Darcy of Benton was nominated by petition. NHEC members will receive written statements from the candidates in support of their candidacies along with a ballot.

This year’s ballot also includes a proposed change to NHEC’s Certificate of Organization, which states the purposes for which NHEC was formed. The proposed amendment was submitted by member petition, and seeks to add language to the NHEC Certificate of Organization that would include “facilitating access to broadband internet for members” as a stated purpose of the cooperative. By a vote of 7-3 with one abstention, the NHEC Board of Directors has opposed the proposed change. The statements of proponents and opponents are included on the ballot. Results of the voting will be announced with the Board election results at NHEC’s Annual Meeting on June 22.

Capital Credits to be listed on April/May bills

New Hampshire Electric Cooperative will be allocating positive operating margins to each of its members’ accounts based on their individual usage.  As a result, a line item pertaining to “capital credits” will appear on the bottom of your April and/or May bills (see message below).  It will indicate the amount that is being set aside in your capital account.  Please note that this is an equity account, not a cash account.  It represents your ownership interest, or equity, in the Cooperative.

YOUR CAPITAL CREDIT ALLOCATION FOR 2019 IS $0.00.  THIS AMOUNT WILL BE APPLIED TO YOUR PATRONAGE CAPITAL ACCOUNT.

NHEC Members Encouraged to Vote Electronically in 2020 BOD Election

With heightened concerns over the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, NHEC is strongly encouraging its members to cast their vote online in the upcoming NHEC Board of Directors Election.

Members with email addresses on file with NHEC are receiving an email today with easy instructions for opting out of receiving a paper ballot and voting online. Online voting is safe, easy and secure. We hope members will take advantage of this option when the election opens in May.

All members who do not opt out will receive a paper ballot in the mail with instructions for submitting their ballot online. As always, members can also vote by paper ballot and return it to NHEC in the enclosed postage-paid envelope.

Click here to learn more about the Director Election process.

Scam Calls Offering to Join NHEC Reported

TO OUR NON-NHEC MEMBER FRIENDS: we’re receiving numerous requests to join the Cooperative today, no doubt as a result of yesterday’s news that we’re dropping our power supply rate by 26%! It seems would-be scammers are calling with offers to switch non-members to NHEC. While it’s flattering, it’s also not possible to switch to a different utility and you should ignore these offers. We are not making outbound calls offering to switch anyone to NHEC! In order to be served by NHEC, you must reside within our service territory. If you are served by another utility (Eversource, Unitil, Liberty or municipal utility), you cannot switch to NHEC unless you move into our service territory. If you are called with this or a similar offer, JUST HANG UP!

NHEC Announces 26% Reduction in Electricity Supply Rate

NHEC Announces 26% Reduction in Electricity Supply Rate

PLYMOUTH, NH – New Hampshire Electric Cooperative’s (NHEC) Board of Directors has approved a 26% reduction to its members’ electricity supply rate.

The rate reduction applies to the Co-op Power portion of members’ bills, and will result in an overall bill decrease of over $11.00, for the average residential member using 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month.

NHEC typically adjusts its Co-op Power rate in November and May every year. This rate reflects the cost NHEC pays to purchase electricity from the market on behalf of its members. The price NHEC pays for this power is directly passed along to its members who do not buy their electricity from a competitive supplier.

Since the winter period Co-op Power rate was set in November, the market cost of electricity has plummeted.  This precipitous drop in market prices, below what was forecast, has allowed NHEC to procure electricity for its members at a lower cost. Recognizing the difference between the current rate and market prices, NHEC has adjusted the Co-op Power rate outside of the normal cycle, which will provide the benefit of these low market prices back to members as soon as possible.

The lower than expected market prices are due to many factors that have impacted electricity costs over the past few months. Most notably, New England has experienced a very mild winter, which kept the cost of electricity low. Temperature is closely linked to the price of electricity, as it drives the demand for more energy during the cold, dark months of winter, and hot, humid summer months.

As a result of the Board of Directors’ vote, NHEC’s Co-op Power rate will drop from 8.8¢ per kWh to 6.6¢ per kWh. NHEC’s members will see the benefits from this rate reduction starting in their March bills.

“I am pleased that we were able to move quickly to reduce our rates and pass along the benefit of the low market prices to our members,” said Steve Camerino, president and CEO of NHEC. “NHEC is a nonprofit cooperative and we operate at cost, so our rates reflect the expenses we incur to serve our members. We are a member-driven organization so passing along these savings to our members as quickly as possible is a priority for us.”

Winter Rates Set

Starting November 1, 2019, NHEC’s residential members can expect a total bill increase of about 5%, or $5.50 per month. While this is an increase compared to our current summer rates, the 2019-20 winter rates are 83 cents less than last winter’s rates.

This increase is being driven by changes to the Co-op Power Charge (the cost of actual energy used) and the Regional Access Charge (the cost of transmission grid services). These charges are directly passed through to our members – the cost to NHEC is the cost you pay. For most members, the Co-op Power Charge will increase by 10%, while the Regional Access Charge will increase by 13% over the current summer rate.

The increased Co-op Power Charge is primarily due to the continuing pattern of higher energy costs in winter months in the Northeast. This is due to regional natural gas supply constraints. Natural gas is used to generate roughly half of the electricity in New England. Natural gas demand increases sharply during the winter months, when it is used as a heating fuel, which reduces supply and drives up the cost of generating electricity.

The increase in the Regional Access Charge is primarily due to an increase in the costs other companies charge NHEC to deliver energy to our distribution system.

Click here for a complete list of NHEC rates and fees.