Since then, New Hampshire Electric Coop announced a rate increase of 12%. Public Service of New Hampshire, which owns the Merrimack Station Coal Plant, expects only a slight rate increase. Another New Hampshire utility, Unitil, will soon file for a winter rate. NHPR reports Electric Co-op Latest Utility To Announce Rate Increase.
Hah! This just in! Unitil (New Hampshire utility) announced that the close-to-100% price rise on the grid (8.4 cents to 15.5 cents) will cost Unitil customers an extra $42 per month, starting in December. Unitil Electric Rates to Rise $42 per month.
Price Mealy-Mouthing in New England, Updated
Meanwhile, closer to home, Green Mountain Power and its sister utility, Vermont Gas Systems, explain that they are efficient and will therefore have stable prices. (This seems to imply that neighboring utilities are inefficient.) WCAX reports: GMP and Vermont Gas Keep Stable Prices.
Both GMP and Vermont Gas are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Gaz Metro.
My own interpretation of the GMP statement about stable prices is quite simple: they aren't announcing the price rise just yet. Gaz Metro companies don't always announce things promptly, as far as I can tell.
For example, the Vermont Gas pipeline expansion will cost $120 million dollars, which is $35 million more than regulators approved. Vermont Gas knew of the overrun in March, but did not notify regulators until July (meanwhile, Vermont Gas kept building the pipeline). Vermont Gas was fined $35,000 for this delay in notification. Vermont Digger reports: Vermont Supreme Court Clears PSB to Reconsider Vermont Gas Pipeline.
A Well-Written Report from Conca at Forbes
Meanwhile, at Forbes, James Conca has an excellent post (including a link to my Saturday post): Closing Vermont Nuclear Bad Business for Everyone. He shows how closing Vermont Yankee is hurting our neighboring states. It is a pleasure to read a good post about our area in the national media. I also urge you to read and join the lively comment stream on that post.
Consumer Liaison Group
I was just elected to the Coordinating Committee of the Consumer Liaison Group (CLG) of the grid operator, ISO-NE. I am one of two representatives from Vermont on the committee. The group exchanges information with ISO about policies that affect consumers. It also advises ISO.
I went to the CLG meeting September 24, but that is a subject for a whole different blog post. As you can imagine, however, the coming price rises were a major topic of discussion.
More updates soon.
Berkshire Eagle reports that National Grid price rise will cost homeowners up to $100 a month more on their bills and cost even more to businesses: National Grid Customers, Lawmakers Charged Up about Rate Increase.
Update: Some People Love Expensive Electricity An important post from Rod Adams: a review of the philosophy of people who celebrate the price rises because "the only way to guarantee that energy conservation measures are diligently pursued in this country is to make energy a very precious and expensive commodity. " (This quote was part of a comment on James Conca's article in Forbes.) Rod's post: Purposeful Price Pumping By Constraining Supply