New Hampshire

NH Energy Rates Will Increase Significantly Next Week

Utility companies and consumer advocates say higher natural gas prices due to the war in Ukraine are to blame for major spikes in New Hampshire residents' electric bills that will go into effect on Aug. 1

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You could call it an electric shock, with energy bills in New Hampshire set to go up -- doubling in many cases.

On Aug. 1, Liberty Utilities will raise its rates 100% in New Hampshire. Eversource is going up 112%.

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"You can see maybe justifying a small rate increase, but I heard up to 100% rate hike," said Anita, who lives in Nashua.

Don Newell agrees.

"It's not good, with all the prices going up and everything, so it's something I'd have to look at, I imagine," he said.

Consumer advocate Don Kreis says higher natural gas prices are to blame.

"The war in Ukraine has created a huge uptick in global demand for natural gas, which has driven the price up all the way around the planet, and we use a lot of natural gas to produce electricity in New England," Kreis said.

Donna lives in Hollis and says she uses a lot of electricity.

"I have an irrigation system, a pool and air conditioning," she said.

Her last bill was over $700, and she shudders to think what the next one will be.

"I don't know how people on fixed incomes are going to afford an electric bill," she said. "I mean, are we supposed to stay safe away from the heat? Not wash our clothes or let our yards burn? Not enjoy a swimming pool?"

While it is tempting to blame the utility companies, Chris McKinnon at Eversource says the increase is in the supply, not delivery.

"We actually do not make any money off of the supply price of the electricity," McKinnon said. "That is a straight pass through to our customers. We don't make any profit off of that."

Natural gas is a commodity, so the price could come down if the situation in Ukraine stabilizes.

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