ELECTRIC UTILITY RESTRUCTURING
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. 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 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.
II. A transition to competitive markets for electricity is consistent with the directives of part II, article 83 of the New Hampshire constitution which reads in part: "Free and fair competition in the trades and industries is an inherent and essential right of the people and should be protected against all monopolies and conspiracies which tend to hinder or destroy it." Competitive markets should provide electricity suppliers with incentives to operate efficiently and cleanly, open markets for new and improved technologies, provide electricity buyers and sellers with appropriate price signals, and improve public confidence in the electric utility industry.
III. The following interdependent policy principles are intended to guide the New Hampshire public utilities commission and the department of energy in implementing a statewide electric utility industry restructuring plan, in establishing interim stranded cost recovery charges, in approving each utility's compliance filing, in streamlining administrative processes to make regulation more efficient, and in regulating a restructured electric utility industry. In addition, these interdependent principles are intended to guide the New Hampshire general court and the department of environmental services and other state agencies in promoting and regulating a restructured electric utility industry.
Source. 1996, 129:2, eff. May 21, 1996. 2021, 91:279, eff. July 1, 2021.