PUC Approves PSNH Rate Increase – Observe the Democrat’s Circular Green Firing Squad!

by Steve MacDonald

Winds of ChangeBack in September PSNH announced that it would need to rasie rates to deal with about 67 million dollars a year in costs associated with RGGI (and other state energy mandates)- a tax (RGGI) that Maggie Hassan was proud of, if you’ve forgotten.   (Grokster Tom also has a nice treatment of those same stories here.)

At the time of that announcement the estimated annual hike on rate payers was about $50.00 per year, more for commercial users obviously.  But the rate increase just approved by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will cost you a good deal more than that.  Make that a great deal more!

The new initial monthly rate increase estimate for anyone who uses 500 kwh/month will add an additional $12.15 per month.  That’s about $145.00 per year, not $50.00.  Speaking for my own family, we’re looking at $15.00 a month at minimum or $180.00 less per year in our pocket for the same eletricity we use now.

That stinks, but here is where it gets ugly for Democrats.

New Hampshire has a green energy mandate that forces providers to buy or generate at least 25% of their electricity from resources identified by Democrats as “renewable.  (Hydro and Nuclear are not included.) These all cost more than what PSNh generates on its own.

Democrats also passed RGGI which requires all electricity generators to buy carbon credits to allow them to continue producing electricity.  The state gets a bonus check from RGGI for playing along, which they are supposed to spend to improve energy efficiency to offset the costs of using electricity.

(Democrats borrowed over $3,000.000.00 to pay down a sliver of their deficit, the rest is supposed to have gone to energy efficiency programs–see also left wing cronies, and corporate welfare.)

Electricity deregulation–a proud moment for Democrat governor Greene Jeanne Shaheen, allows customers to pay lower delivery rates regardless of whether PSNH generates the power or not.  PSNH has been losing customers as state energy mandates have driven up their operating costs, requiring them to raise rates to cover losses created by the mandate loving Democrats.  and now the PUC–a government bureaucracy, is expressing concerns at how much PSNH needs to raise rates to cover these costs, with the expectation that as a result of these increases more people will choose other power delivery providers at the expense of PSNH.

That would obviously require PSNH to rasie rates further to cover more losses….and how long do I have to do this before everyone realizes that New Hampshire Democrats broke the marketplace with their stupid mandates and ceaseless meddling?

If that were not bad enough, consider the big picture.  As of 2011 total RGGI revenue spending (we joined in 2008) was $35 million and in that same year the PUC was running a $600,000.00 RGGI deficit, having already promised more than we’d received from the program, prompting some to ask “is there a PUC to watchdog the PUC?”

The answer is no, but that’s not the big picture.  Since 2008 RGGI has not paid New Hampshire 67 million total in revenue, over four years, and as PSNH clamied earlier this year they would need to offset $67 million annually as a result of the Democrat mandates that resulted in those costs.

I have no idea how many years worth of $67 million in annual costs PSNH needs to offset, but that is $67 million a year that will be extracted from small business owners and rate payers.  That means the New Hampshire economy in 2013 and possibly 2014 or beyond, will see $67 million redistributed into rising energy costs instead of being used to create jobs, or growth, or for day to day commerce that can no longer occur as a result of political mandates.

All this so New Hampshire Democrats could tax you without actually taxing you.

Would those same Democrats like to now suggest that the $35 million (plus) in energy efficiency investments over the past five years will net a $67 million dollar per year net benefit?  I’d love to see that math, but before anyone tries consider that PSNH probably needs more than 67 million per year now as the circular firing squad that created costs and ran off the customers needed to pay them keeps on firing.

So how do we sum this up?  New Hampshire Democrats created mandates and regualtions that are driving up electric rates well in excess of any sum we could ever recover from the programs they swore would be a windfall for the state.  The difference between the two is going to suck tens of millions more per year away from the State’s economy during a recession.    Rising electric rates will also make the state less appealing to business owners, result in fewer new business starts, lower employment, higher taxes (the government pays for electricity as well), more expensive products and services as business owners try to offset costs, and when oh when can I please say I told you so?

 

You are reading  “PUC Approves PSNH Rate Increase – Observe the Democrat’s Circular Green Firing Squad!”   by  Steve Mac Donald originally posted at GraniteGrok.com (Home)

 

Steve has been recognized as the Americans For Prosperity Blogger of the month for December 2012

Steve Mac Donald has been recognized as the AFP December Blogger of the month

 

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  • thxsparrow

    As a Republican, I am amazed (and embarassed) at the level of stupidity and false “facts” touted here. First, RGGI was a totally bi-partisan legislation. Second, PSNH had regular rate increases from 2005 to 2009 totalling about 25% and its two most recent rate increases – in 4Q2012 to pay for the necessary pollution-control scrubbers required on the antiquated coal-fired Merrimack (Bow) plant and in 1Q2012 to compensate for the loss of over 40,000 customers to 3rd party supplies like eNH and others – had nothing to do with PSNH’s rate increases. Republicans once were the force behind a better environment with Nixon era legislation, but there is such a sudden lack of historical memory or an increase in “don’t confuse me with the facts I have already made up my mind” such that mindless editorials like that above send people scurrying away thinking that Republicans don’t care about pollution, the high cost of foreign imported energy, or locally grown clean energy jobs. Do you suppose that gasoline is nearly $4/gallon and heating oil almost the same because of RGGI. Rising energy rates, and particularly electric rates are everywhere, but most severely felt here in NH, where we have no coal, no oil, and no natural gas. The intelligent solution is clean reliable NH harvested and produced energy – and it works. It is a game changer and a job creator for NH.

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