Choosing an Energy Supplier
Understanding Your Electricity Supply Choices
You may have heard or seen TV and radio commercials, print advertisements, and telemarketing campaigns encouraging New Hampshire electric customers like you to switch to what the NH Public Utilities Commission calls a “competitive electric power supplier.” This is because New Hampshire restructured its electric industry a decade ago to offer a “retail choice” to all electric customers, and an increasing number of these independent suppliers are currently making their pitch.
“What Do I Need to Know About Choosing?”
First of all, remember that you don’t have to choose between PSNH and any independent energy supplier—at any time. You will not risk losing your current electric service if you don’t choose.
In New Hampshire, PSNH is considered the “default” energy supplier by the NH Public Utilities Commission (NH PUC), which regulates rates that it determines are in the best interest of both electric customers and the company. Independent energy suppliers, however, are non-regulated, which means there is no state regulation limiting their rates. This means that registered independent suppliers can set a price to sell you electricity at whatever rate you and that supplier agree to.
PSNH customers are free to decide where to obtain their electric energy and how much they will pay. As with any choice, however, be sure to consider the risks. For example, should the NH PUC set an Energy Service rate for PSNH that is lower than the independent supplier’s rate while you are under contract with that supplier, you may incur an early termination penalty should you wish to end your contract and switch back to PSNH. Also, be sure to understand how your rate may be reset once any initial contract term has run.
“So, How Can I Choose Wisely?”
Make sure you exercise smart shopping sense, as you would with any other transaction, if you receive phone calls or visits to your home or business from representatives of independent energy suppliers:
- Make sure the independent energy supplier is registered with the NH PUC.
- Before signing any contract, be sure to carefully read the fine print concerning the term of the contract and penalties you may incur should you choose to end the agreement prematurely