Unitil Electric Rates in New Hampshire to Change May 1
Hampton, NH (March 20, 2006): Unitil Corporation (AMEX:UTL) announced that its New Hampshire retail operating subsidiary filed wholesale electricity supply solicitation results and proposed rates with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission for their approval. The revised rates will go into effect on May 1.
"High energy prices are a current fact of life for all consumers and all fuel types," said Robert G. Schoenberger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Unitil. "In this environment, energy conservation, investments in energy efficiency and the promotion of competition continue to be the best tools for consumers to reduce their bills and send the message to the market that prices are still too high."
For Unitil's residential and small business customers in New Hampshire, the new rates are increasing significantly, reflecting current market prices for electricity supply. Prior to May 1, rates reflect electricity costs under a supply contract executed in 2003 when energy prices were much lower. The supply cost increases are also offset somewhat by decreases in the stranded cost and external delivery price components.
Overall, a typical residential customer using 500kWh per month will see a bill increase from $56.84 to $76.25 or 34%, still well below the average electric bill in New Hampshire. Small to medium size business customers will see bill increases of about 20% to 40% depending on rate class and usage. Future rate changes for these customers will take place every six months as portions of the new electricity supply contract portfolio are replaced with new contracts.
Large business customers who take Default Service energy supply from Unitil will see bill decreases of about 33%, reflecting the drop in electricity supply costs since last November, when the previous electricity supply contract for these customers went into effect. More than one third of Unitil's large business customers chose to leave Default Service after November and buy competitive retail electricity supplies - these customers will not be affected by the change in electricity supply costs but will receive the decreases in the stranded cost and external delivery price components. Default Service prices for large business customers change monthly, and new supply contracts will be negotiated on a quarterly basis.
Unitil encourages all customers to use energy more efficiently and offers a variety of strategies and programs to help manage energy consumption. For more information, visit Unitil's web site on Controlling Energy Costs: http://services.unitil.com/ceco/energy_costs.asp
Electricity supply that Unitil purchases on behalf of its customers is passed along at actual cost, with no profit or mark up by the utility. These purchases are conducted by competitive bids under the supervision of state regulators with the goal of providing the lowest available prices to customers.
Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company with subsidiaries providing electric service in New Hampshire, electric and gas service in Massachusetts and energy services throughout the Northeast.
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