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Electricity rates in New Hampshire

The Granite State offers its residents and businesses a deregulated market and opportunities to save on power.

New Hampshire was the first state in the nation to deregulate its energy, allowing customers a choice in who provides their electricity. Residential customers have 17 retail electricity providers to choose from, and commercial customers have 29. Each provider offers opportunities for the lowest kilowatt-hour rates and a variety of energy plans to compare.

Best energy prices in New Hampshire

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Key players in New Hampshire’s energy market

Energy in the Granite State is managed by a complex system that sometimes extends out of the state to cover all of New England and nearby regions.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is an independent agency that regulates the transmission of electricity, natural gas and oil across the state.

FERC also:

  • Licenses and inspects hydroelectric projects
  • Oversees environmental matters
  • Administers accounting and financial reporting regulations

Independent System Operator-New England (ISO-NE)

FERC established the ISO-NE as a private, nonprofit corporation on July 1, 1997. It performs three critical roles for the New England region.

  1. Grid operation. Coordinates and directs the flow of electricity through the region’s transmission system.
  2. Market administration. Manages markets to attract energy suppliers and encourages competitive pricing.
  3. Power system planning. Studies and predicts current and future energy needs of the region.

New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC)

The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission is a state agency with jurisdiction over electric, natural gas, water and sewer utilities. Its focus is rates, quality of service, finance, accounting and safety.

The NHPUC provides information about utility services and helps resolve disputes between consumers and utility service providers, including electric and natural gas. Competitive energy suppliers must register with the NHPUC before selling electricity to customers in New Hampshire.

Utility companies in New Hampshire

Four electric distribution companies operate in New Hampshire, each serving a specific area within the state.

  1. Eversource is a publicly traded energy company that serves more than 4 million customers in New England. Its electric transmission system spans more than 4,000 miles of high-voltage wires and substations.
  2. Liberty provides electric utilities and local utility management to over 43,000 customers across 51 communities in New Hampshire.
  3. New Hampshire Electric Cooperative is a nonprofit owned by its customers and connects the citizens of New Hampshire through 5,600 miles of energized lines across 115 communities.
  4. Unitil is an investor-owned energy company that serves 100,000 customers across New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.

Retail electricity providers

Retail electricity providers buy electricity wholesale and transmit and deliver it to homes and businesses in the state.

How to find the cheapest energy rate in New Hampshire

You’ll first need to calculate your average electricity use. From there, you can find the lowest electricity in New Hampshire by comparing retail electric providers and energy plans for the best fit to power your home or business.

  1. Calculate your current energy use. Look at a few of your most recent energy bills and average out your use by energy unit — per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity. This information will help you pinpoint similar or cheaper rates on the market.
  2. Shop by ZIP code on an energy marketplace. Marketplaces like EnergyBot can help you compare rates and energy plans specific to your residence with your ZIP code and information about your home.[EB Widget]
  3. Compare energy providers and plans. Weigh kWh rates, contract terms and potential for savings to narrow down the best provider for your needs.

How to compare electricity plans

You have many third-party electricity suppliers to choose from in New Hampshire, each offering different rates and energy plans. Factors to weigh when researching your options come down to rates and the type of plan that fits your electricity needs and budget.

Fixed and variable rates

Providers in New Hampshire offer the choice of fixed or variable kilowatt-hour rates:

  • Fixed rates. Fixed rates allow you to lock in a rate for an established contract term. These plans protect your budget from surprise rate spikes, though they can keep you from more easily switching providers with lower rates if the market dips.
  • Variable rates. Variable rates allow you to purchase energy without a contract. These plans give you the flexibility to jump to a different provider at any point, though you can expect to pay increased rates when demand is high, such as during colder weather months.

For variable rates, ask your potential provider if it limits how much rates can fluctuate, which can help you keep costs manageable.

Introductory rates and signup bonuses

Many suppliers and providers offer lower advertised rates or bonuses to entice new customers. These bonuses can be reflected as a lump-sum savings or percentage knocked off the standard rate.

Introductory rates can last the first quarter of your contract, for six months or even the full term. Read the fine print of any offer to understand the rate you’ll pay after the bonus and avoid overpaying for your energy in the long term.

Contract terms and details

Understand the contract system of any supplier you’re interested in. Look at available terms, how the supplier handles renewals and whether you can cancel before your contract ends.

  • Contract terms. Contracts can range from three months to a year or more. Longer terms can be easier to manage, while shorter terms allow the flexibility to leverage market dips.
  • Contract renewal. Some providers require you to renew a contract term, allowing you to review or change the details of your rate schedule, while others automatically renew your terms unless you tell them not to.
  • Contract cancellation. Markets being what they are, you may find lower rates so enticing, you’re willing to pay a termination fee to end your contract early. Understand the penalties you face so that you can factor them into any future decisions to switch providers.
  • Late fees and grace periods. Ask potential providers about late fees and how many days after the due date you can make a payment without paying a penalty.

Costs and fees to expect in New Hampshire

Your electricity bills include home energy costs that can vary by utility provider or supplier.

  • Unit or consumption charges. Energy costs are expressed as kilowatt-hours (kWh) for electricity and therms for natural gas, with variances among residential, commercial and industrial customers.
  • Delivery and transmission costs. This is the cost a utility company charges to cover moving energy from power plants, across power lines and pipelines and to your meter.
  • Capacity or demand fee. Some electric companies charge a fee to cover the cost of ensuring enough electricity or gas when demand peaks.
  • Ratchet charges. Also related to demand, these are periodic fees charged by utilities to recoup costs related to surges in use.
  • Taxes. Most suppliers include tax costs in pricing schedules. Ask your supplier about taxes if you don’t see them clearly listed in your bill.
  • Other costs and fees. Some states and local governments charge fees that fund public policy programs related to such causes as energy conservation or support for vulnerable communities.

If you choose an alternative energy option, your energy bill may include fees associated with the renewables you choose.

How to switch electricity plans in New Hampshire

Once you’ve found a supplier that suits your energy needs, gather up a current monthly bill and get ready for the big switch.

  • Call your new energy supplier. Confirm the details of your energy plan and ask any remaining questions. You may need to provide information from your current utility provider to transfer your account. Ask how long you can expect to wait until it’s completed.
  • Contact your old provider. Your new supplier will notify your new supplier, but it’s helpful to confirm the process directly with your current company.
  • Review your first bill. Make sure the details of your new bill match your contract or agreement and flag any issues as soon as possible for a fix.

Prepare to pay an early termination fee for switching providers. The most common rate is $10 for every month remaining on your contract — so if you have 10 months remaining, you would be charged a $100 termination fee.

About energy deregulation in New Hampshire

In 1996, New Hampshire became the first state in the nation to deregulate energy, allowing the majority of electricity consumers to choose their electricity producer and supplier. By 2003, the energy market in the Granite State was completely deregulated.

Today, retail suppliers get their power from the state’s top utility providers and consumers choose a supplier for their energy needs.

What to look out for

Despite New Hampshire’s deregulated energy, prices are still on the rise. World events like the COVID pandemic and the Russian–Ukraine war and local record-setting temperatures have led to steadily rising prices for New Hampshire’s energy.

Residents of New Hampshire may be eligible for the following assistance programs:

  • Electric Assistance Program (EAP). Provided through New Hampshire’s Department of Energy, the EAP helps residents in need cover up to 76% of their electrical bill for up to 12 months. Eligibility is based on gross income and family size.
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Seniors, low-income families and customers with disabilities may qualify for assistance in paying heating and vital utility bills through Southern New Hampshire Services, a nonprofit that helps residents through various programs.
  • Home Energy Assistance (HEA) Program. The HEA Program helps income-eligible homeowners and renters reduce their energy costs and optimize home energy performance, sometimes covering up to 100% of the cost.

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