SB 128 - AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE
SENATE BILL 128
AN ACT relative to the policy goal of electric utility restructuring.
SPONSORS: Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. D'Allesandro, Dist 20; Sen. Soucy, Dist 18; Sen. Innis, Dist 24; Sen. Avard, Dist 12; Rep. Barry, Hills. 21; Rep. Hinch, Hills. 21; Rep. Vose, Rock. 9; Rep. Cali-Pitts, Rock. 30; Rep. Richardson, Coos 4
COMMITTEE: Energy and Natural Resources
This bill modifies electric utility restructuring policy principles by permitting the commission and electric utilities to pursue measures to mitigate the cost of electric service, reduce the price volatility of that service, and reduce the potential for disruptions in electricity supply, subject to the commission's determination that such measures are in the public interest.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
03/30/2017 1175s 17-0955
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
I. The provision of reliable and economic electricity is a necessary service upon which the economy and the welfare of this state rest.
II. Although retail and wholesale competitive markets for energy have developed since the initial restructuring of the state's electric utilities, there remain problems and limitations that have resulted in price volatility and the potential for inadequate capacity supply.
III. ISO-New England, Inc., the independent, nonprofit regional transmission organization (RTO), that oversees the operation of New England's bulk electric power system and transmission lines has stated that infrastructure constraints could pose a challenge to the reliable operation of the regional power grid, create price volatility, and contribute to air emission increases.
IV. The high cost of electric rates, their volatility, the potential for supply disruption, and increased air emissions has a particularly adverse impact on New Hampshire's citizens and its economy.
V. It is in the best interests of all citizens of New Hampshire that the public utilities commission be directed and granted authority to consider and implement measures that are expected to mitigate the cost of electric service in the state, reduce the price volatility of that service, and/or reduce the potential for disruptions in electricity supply due to inadequate wholesale generating capacity in the New England marketplace.
I. The most compelling reason to restructure the New Hampshire electric utility industry is to reduce costs for all consumers of electricity by harnessing the power of competitive markets and by other methods determined to be in the public interest. The overall public policy goal of restructuring is to [develop a more efficient industry structure and regulatory framework that results in a more productive economy by reducing costs to consumers while maintaining safe and reliable electric service] reduce the cost of electricity without negatively impacting the reliable supply and delivery thereof with minimum adverse impacts on the environment. Increased customer choice and the development of competitive markets for wholesale and retail electricity services are key elements in a restructured industry that will require unbundling of prices and services and at least functional separation of centralized generation services from transmission and distribution services.
I. System Reliability. Reliable electricity service must be maintained while ensuring public health, safety, and quality of life. The commission and electric utilities should pursue measures that are expected to mitigate the cost of electric service in the state, reduce the price volatility of that service, and reduce the potential for disruptions in electricity supply due to inadequate wholesale generating capacity in the New England marketplace, or that harness the power of competitive markets, subject to the commission's determination that such measures are in the public interest. In evaluating a proposed measure, the commission shall consider whether such measure is likely to result in near term rate relief and reasonably protects ratepayers from the risk of stranded costs consistent with the principles established in this chapter. Such measures shall:
(a) Not include any measure that involves the purchase of natural gas supply or capacity, the siting of natural gas infrastructure within New England, or the recovery of the cost of building new infrastructure;
(b) Not include any measure that results in New Hampshire ratepayers paying an unreasonable share of the costs of any regional projects;
(c) Be consistent with applicable federal law; and
(d) To the extent reasonably possible without reducing the cost savings to customers, be implemented in a manner that minimizes their impact on the competitive market.
XI. Near Term Rate Relief. The goal of restructuring is to create competitive markets that are expected to produce lower prices for all customers than would have been paid under the current regulatory system. Given New Hampshire's higher than average regional prices for electricity, utilities, in the near term, should work to reduce rates for all customers. To the greatest extent practicable, rates should approach competitive regional electric rates. The state should recognize when state policies impose costs that conflict with this principle and should take efforts to mitigate those costs. The unique New [Hampshire] England issues contributing to [the highest] high prices [in New England] should be addressed [during the transition], wherever possible to mitigate such high prices, price volatility, and the potential for supply disruptions due to deficiencies in electric generating capacity.
XIII. Regionalism. New England Power Pool (NEPOOL) should be reformed and efforts to enhance competition and to complement industry restructuring on a regional basis should be encouraged. New Hampshire should work with other New England and northeastern states to accomplish the goals of restructuring to address the high and volatile price of electricity, and to ensure an adequate supply of electric generating capacity. Working with other regional states, New Hampshire should assert maximum state authority over the entire electric industry restructuring process. While it is desirable to design and implement a restructured industry in concert with the other New England and northeastern states, New Hampshire should not unnecessarily delay its timetable. Any pool structure adopted for the restructured industry should not preclude bilateral contracts with pool and non-pool services and should not preclude ancillary pool services from being obtained from non-pool sources.
SB 128-FN- FISCAL NOTE
AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE (AMENDMENT #2017-1175s)
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ X ] County [ X ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ X ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ ] Other
The Public Utilities Commission states this bill modifies the electric utility restructuring statute to add methods other than competitive markets as a means to reduce costs for consumers of electricity. This bill also permits the Commission to approve specific measures to reduce price and volatility of regional wholesale electric prices so long as those measures do not involve the purchase of natural gas supply or capacity. The Commission is unable to predict what measures may be proposed or approved that would reduce electric prices or volatility. To the extent that any measures are approved to reduce the cost of electricity, all ratepayers in New Hampshire, including the State and other governmental users, would experience an indeterminable cost savings.
Public Utilities Commission
|Feb. 21, 2017||Senate||Hearing|
|Feb. 21, 2017||Senate||Hearing|
|March 23, 2017||Senate||Floor Vote|
|March 23, 2017||Senate||Floor Vote|
|March 29, 2017||Senate||Floor Vote|
|March 30, 2017||Senate||Floor Vote|
|April 19, 2017||House||Hearing|
|May 2, 2017||House||Exec Session|
|May 9, 2017||House||Exec Session|
|Oct. 25, 2017||House||Hearing|
|Oct. 25, 2017||House||Exec Session|
|Jan. 9, 2018||House||Floor Vote|
|Feb. 15, 2018||House||Floor Vote|
Feb. 15, 2018: Refer for Interim Study: MA VV 02/15/2018 HJ 4 P. 21
: Special Order to 2/15/2018 Without Objection HJ 3 P. 81
: Special Order to next session day Without Objection HJ 2 P. 47
: Special Order to 1/9/2018 Without Objection HJ 1 P. 104
Jan. 3, 2018: Committee Report: Refer for Interim Study for 01/03/2018 (Vote 17-4; RC)
Oct. 25, 2017: ==RESCHEDULED== Executive Session: 10/25/2017 02:00 PM LOB 304
Oct. 25, 2017: Retained Bill Full Committee Work Session: 10/25/2017 01:00 PM LOB 304
Oct. 25, 2017: ==CANCELLED== Executive Session: 10/25/2017 01:00 PM LOB 304
Oct. 25, 2017: Public Hearing on Amendment # 2017-2457h: 10/25/2017 11:00 AM LOB 304
Oct. 11, 2017: Retained Bill Full Committee Work Session: 10/11/2017 10:00 AM LOB 304
Sept. 6, 2017: Retained Bill Full Committee Work Session: 09/06/2017 01:30 PM LOB 304
: Retained in Committee
May 9, 2017: ==CONTINUED== Executive Session: 05/09/2017 01:30 PM LOB 304
May 9, 2017: Subcommittee Work Session: 05/09/2017 10:00 AM LOB 304
May 2, 2017: ==RECESSED== Executive Session: 05/02/2017 01:30 PM LOB 304
May 2, 2017: Full Committee Work Session: 05/02/2017 10:30 AM LOB 304
April 19, 2017: Public Hearing: 04/19/2017 01:00 PM LOB 302-304
March 23, 2017: Introduced 03/23/2017 and referred to Science, Technology and Energy HJ 11 P. 27
March 30, 2017: Ought to Pass with Amendment 2017-1175s, MA, VV; OT3rdg; 03/30/2017; SJ 12
March 30, 2017: Sen. Bradley Floor Amendment # 2017-1175s, RC 17Y-6N, AA; 03/30/2017; SJ 12
March 30, 2017: Committee Amendment # 2017-0883s, AF, VV; 03/30/2017; SJ 12
March 30, 2017: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2017-0883s, 03/30/2017; SC 16
March 30, 2017: Special Order SB 128 to 03/30/2017, Without Objection, MA; 03/29/2017 SJ 11
March 23, 2017: Special Order SB 128 to the Next Session, Without Objection, MA; 03/23/2017; SJ 10
March 23, 2017: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2017-0883s, 03/23/2017; SC 15
Feb. 21, 2017: Hearing: 02/21/2017, Room 103, SH, 09:15 am, on proposed amendment # 2017-0426s; SC 11
Feb. 21, 2017: Hearing: 02/21/2017, Room 103, SH, 09:15 am; SC 11
Jan. 19, 2017: Introduced 01/19/2017 and Referred to Energy and Natural Resources; SJ 5