The Cost of Electricity in NH – TAXES AND OVERHEAD

by Steve MacDonald

expensive-energy-electricityBy Bill Fortune

Seabrook Station produces about 1/2 of NH’s electricity at the cost of about 2.5, cents/kWh, before taxes, per the Energy Information Agency.

There are several small hydro plants that produce power at about 1.3 cents/kWh (approx. 100 MWs).

Because of increased regulations, we are not certain the cost of electricity generated by fossil, but in 2015 the National average was 3.7 cents.

Transmission costs from Canada to Concord, NH is 4 cents/kWh. Therefore, the cost to deliver power to everyone in NH from NH generators can not be more than 3 cents (PSNH claimed their cost was 2 cents). So let’s assume that the average cost of electricity is a high of 3.5 cents and delivery to your meter is 3 cents for a total cost of 6.5 cents.

Sununu says “lots of pieces to the puzzle.” Apparently, he isn’t capable of comprehending when he tells me “not enough transmission lines.” Most of the cost of electricity above 6 cents (at your meter) is the results of meddling by the legislators and taxation by municipalities.

NH Electric Coop: “Over the last five years the Co-op has experienced a nearly 70% increase in the municipal property taxes ….”. “This makes it power more expensive for everyone.” The town of Hampton wants to raise taxes on electricity so they can have more money for their schools. With this stupid idea, Y not eliminate all property taxes and just have the utility companies “pay” the taxes. But the utility companies don’t print money, can’t pay, they collect; they get the money from YOU.

Many think that the power companies pay taxes and for all other programs and regulations. The fact is that the customers pay for everything, including lots of overhead to administer programs. Studies show that too many bureaucrats and media people can’t and won’t comprehend “overhead costs.” They only see the superficial issues. For example, the SBC (0.0033 $/kWh), the CORE program, the REP program, the FCM program and FGGE, the EAR program, the DR program, SCRC, ETC and Federal programs, although on the face cost only fractions of cents, the admin or overhead costs are high. It takes an army of people and banks of computers to comply with the more than 150 pages of regulations (NH only), not counting the many pages of statutes (laws). (96 pages alone of regulations for net metering ). Another cost is welfare to at least 7 (some international) companies that burn wood. (PSNH, Newington is no. 8). Total output 246 MWs. Although wood burning causes pollution (microparticles), U are paying about double for that electricity to “help” people in the North Country be employed. A Spanish company invested in the Laidlaw plant in Berlin so they could get Carbon Credits in Spain. PSNH (now Eversource) was “forced” to purchase that power at a high price with an escalator clause as a function of the cost of buying wood.

Another “pull the wool over your eyes” scheme is the fact that NH sold Renewable Energy Credits and put some of the money into the general fund; $35 million. Another cost is for the staff the utilities need to keep the politicians continuously informed during power outages. All Overhead Costs.

As for “alternatives”/Renewables: Solar cost is a function of interest lost on cash invested + principal & interest paid over the life of the loan, divided by 12 years or 144 months (life of the system before replaced with less expensive power or shut down because of excessive solar production). Income is the average kWh /month (4.2 hrs/day; U.S. Solar Map, zone 5), times the value of energy sold (3.5 cents/kWh). The estimated cost utilities pay for that power is 6 cents/kWh; a cost to other ratepayers.

Not even the “rich” have enough money to pay for all the batteries needed to replace the 2 NH coal-fired power plants (about 585 MW). (enough batteries for three days with no sun + many “black-start” diesel or gas generators.) I estimate that Lee Market Basket costs for “off-the-gird” solar would be $7 million and cover the entire parking lot with panels; a problem in winter when the sun doesn’t melt the ice/snow on the pavement.

Net Metering: solar power needs to be sold for 3.5 cents/kWh and purchased back at the going rate of 15 cents/kWh, otherwise others are paying to maintain/operate the distribution system, power plants, taxes and overhead costs. “Alternatives” are a scam. “The approximately 99 percent of our customers who do not have solar will spend an estimated total of $1.5 billion through 2020 to support existing solar development,’’ said Mary-Leah Assad, a National Grid spokeswoman, “even without raising the net-metering cap.’’

ALL “alternatives” and energy reduction programs are soon to be obsolete! The new power plants can produce power for approx. 2 cents/kWh and even less if we don’t waste the “waste” heat and use it for greenhouses and fish farms. Development of the Generation IV nuclear plants would happen very quickly if Congress re-introduced their bill that required the NRC to start the review process now and then not spend the next 30 years studying (the NRC “approval” process).

We request that the NH Legislature remove all taxes, programs, regulations from the electric utility companies and let market forces produce and distribute electricity; we estimate that to be presently approx. 6 cents/kWh at your meter.

Electric rates will only be reduced when you join us and demand it!

Bill Fortune, 603 365 0251

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  • Herb

    It appeared PSNH used a NY based shill company called Laidlaw Energy Group (No connection to Laidlaw Environmental) to set up the Berlin Biomass plant. The CEO of LEG, Michael Bartoszek, was eventually sued by the SEC and was penalized $3.1 million for fraud and insider trading. At the time, a competing energy company (based in NH) had recommended a smaller plant 1/4 of the size. They claimed the Laidlaw plant, eventually built, was too big and costly and would end up generating expensive energy. Strangely, the state pushed for the larger plant even though studies showed the smaller plant to be more viable. Many Berlin locals were talked into investing in Laidaw and ended up getting scammed by Bartoszek and insider trading. Bartoswek is reportedly selling LED street lights for a Mexican lighting
    manufacturer. See the following Reuters piece;

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