PLYMOUTH, NH – Driven by a decrease in the seasonal cost of energy, summer period electric bills will be going down by nearly 6% for most members of New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC).

Effective with bills rendered May 1, 2019, the Co-op Power portion of members’ bills (the cost of actual energy) will decrease by 13%, while the Regional Access Charge (the cost of transmission grid services) will decrease by 4%. The result for the typical residential member using 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month will be an overall bill decrease of 5.7%, or $6.33 per month. The typical residential member using 1,000 kWh per month will see a total bill decrease of 6.6%, or $12.65 per month.

The rate reductions were approved on March 26 by the NHEC Board of Directors and continue an annual pattern of fluctuations that have seen the cost of power increase during the winter months and decrease in summer months. Driving these wide price swings are seasonal variations in the regional wholesale price of natural gas, which is used to generate approximately half of the electricity produced in New England.

Over the past several years, electric rates during the six-month summer period (May 1 – October 31) have been substantially lower than the winter period, when constraints in the region’s natural gas pipeline infrastructure have led to price spikes. Natural gas demand increases sharply during the winter months due to its use as a primary heating fuel, which drives up the cost of generating electricity for winter delivery.

The May 1 rate change is the result of a 13% decrease in the Co-op Power rate, from $0.09256 to $0.08088 per kilowatt hour (kWh) and a 4% decrease in the Regional Access Charge, from $0.02501 to $0.02404 per kWh.  A complete list of NHEC rates and fees is available under the Rates & Tariffs menu on our website.