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Unitil announces 77% interest rate increase




Unitil has requested approval of a rate hike from the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, saying it will have to raise costs over the winter. Unitil is the latest utility company to make such a request after other utilities announced rate hikes over the summer. The company is on a different purchase plan, which is why it is filing later than the others. According to the utility rate filing sent to the PUC this week, the total month-to-month bill at the current rate is about $132. If the rate increase is approved, it will be $234, an increase of $102, or 77%. Unitil said a customer using 600 kilowatt hours per month over the winter, which is the average, can expect to pay about $50 more per month. month compared to last winter. The utility said it expected it would have to raise rates, so it has submitted a special request to the PUC to extend the payment period to eight months, as opposed to the current six-month period, to help reduce costs during the peak winter months. “It aligns our submission rate with the other utilities in the region,”[ads1]; said Alec O’Meara, of Unitil. “It will also allow us to lower peak winter costs. We estimate that this decision reduced utility rates by approximately 3 cents per kilowatt hour for customers.” Unitil said the global market is affecting overseas supplies, particularly liquefied natural gas, which is used in New England to supplement the region’s total supply. because of the invasion of Ukraine,” O’Meara said. New Hampshire’s consumer advocate Don Kreis said that given the extreme jumps in interest rates across the board, it may be time for the state to send the utility back to the drawing board.” to where we were a year ago or two since when rates were very low, Kreis said.If the PUC approves the increase, the new rates would take effect Dec. 1.

Unitil has requested approval of a rate increase from the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, saying it will have to raise costs over the winter.

Unitil is the latest utility company to make such a request after other companies announced interest rate increases during the summer. The company has a different purchase plan, which is why it is filing later than the others.

According to the company’s utility rate filing sent to the PUC this week, the total month-to-month bill at the current rate is about $132. If the rate increase is approved, it will be $234, an increase of $102, or 77%.

Unitil said a customer using 600 kilowatt hours per month over the winter, which is the average, can expect to pay about $50 more per month compared to last winter.

The utility said it expected it would have to raise rates, so it has submitted a special request to the PUC to extend the payment period to eight months, as opposed to the current six-month period, to help reduce costs during the peak winter months.

“It aligns our submission rate with the other utilities in the region,” said Alec O’Meara, of Unitil. “It will also allow us to lower peak winter costs. We estimate that that decision reduced utility rates by about 3 cents per kilowatt hour for customers.”

Unitil said the global market is affecting supplies overseas, particularly liquefied natural gas, which is used in New England to supplement the region’s overall supply.

“At the moment, competition abroad for liquefied natural gas has become much more intense because of the energy crisis in Europe, because of the invasion of Ukraine,” O’Meara said.

New Hampshire consumer advocate Don Kreis said given the extreme jumps in interest rates across the board, it may be time for the state to send the utility back to the drawing board.

“Looking at future prices, there may be some relief, but we probably won’t get back to where we were a year or two ago when prices were very low,” Kreis said.

If the PUC approves the increase, the new rates will take effect on December 1.



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