PLYMOUTH, NH – New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) rates for the upcoming winter period will increase 9.5% over current summer rates, but are down 1.7% from last winter’s rate.

The rate changes take effect with bills rendered on or after November 1 and are the result of adjustments to two portions of members’ bills: the Co-op Power Charge and the Regional Access Charge. The Co-op Power Charge reflects the cost NHEC pays to purchase electricity for its members from the wholesale market. The cost of this power is directly passed through to members who do not purchase electricity from a competitive supplier. The Regional Access Charge includes the transmission costs NHEC pays to deliver electricity to its distribution system. As with the Co-op Power Charge, the costs NHEC incurs from transmission companies are passed directly through to members.

For a residential member using 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per month, the winter rate changes will result in an overall bill increase of $9.43 (9.5%) per month when compared to summer rates.  However, the new winter rate is a decrease of $1.93 (1.7%) per month when compared to rates in effect last November. NHEC’s Delivery Charge rate and Member Service Charge portions of members’ bills are not changing, in line with NHEC’s stated goal of not increasing distribution charges in 2020. These two charges pay for NHEC’s operations and investments in the Co-op’s distribution system.

The increase in the Co-op Power Charge is primarily due to an annual pattern of higher energy costs in winter months in New England. During the winter, the demand for natural gas as a heating fuel increases. Since natural gas is used to generate much of the electricity in New England, the increased demand for natural gas to heat homes and businesses causes the price of electricity to increase. The increase in the Regional Access Charge is primarily due to continued investment and maintenance of high voltage electrical lines by the transmission companies that own them. The Regional Access Charge also includes a credit from revenue associated with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

NHEC’s winter rates are in effect from November 1 to May 1. A complete list of NHEC rates and fees is available HERE