New Hampshire residents looking to avoid utility rate increases that were set to go into place on January 1, 2013, were responsible for a flood of calls at ENH Power on New Year’s Eve, owner Kevin Dean said.

According to Foster’s Daily Democrat, the electric supplier, which has been operating in New Hampshire for 18 months now, has been actively pursuing new customers and enticing them away from Public Service of New Hampshire, the largest electricity company in the state. Offering huge discounts compared to their current rates, many made some last-minute decisions to save money in 2013.

The retail energy provider said that on December 31, it received calls from more than 1,700 residents who were hoping to switch before the new year and avoid a rate increase from PSNH. This is just one example of the many independent suppliers that are seeing huge success in New Hampshire as they slowly spread out their service territories.

According to the news source, New Hampshire residents have been able to benefit from the state’s energy deregulation law since it was passed in 2002, but it’s only been in recent years that the switching has occurred in such bulk quantities. In Maine, which has a deregulation law similar to that seen in New Hampshire, the retail provider gathered 195,000 customers in less than two years – a clear sign deregulation is working in the region.

Room to grow
Dean stated that he believes New Hampshire is a huge untapped market, especially with PSNH’s electricity rate rising to 9.4 cents per kilowatt-hour this year. This comes in about 24 percent higher than what many alternative suppliers are charging. ENHS, for example, signs customers on for a fixed rate of 7.28 cents per kilowatt hour through the end of November.

By switching, ratepayers could see savings as high as $12 per month.

“The people of New Hampshire are going to save a boat-load of money,” he said.

According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, PSNH’s rate hike will be offset slightly by reducing the costs associated with stranded recovery, a measure that was created to compensate the utility for higher costs stemming from energy deregulation. Those who don’t make the switch will see their electricity rates rise about 7 percent, from $86.35 per month to $92.43.