Glacial Energy Blog

History of energy deregulation in New Hampshire

If you live in New Hampshire, you are already likely reaping the benefits of energy deregulation. With several Retail Electric Suppliers in New Hampshire providing less pricey and greener electricity alternatives, both residents and businesses now have a greater choice in selecting their supplier of electricity.

How the electricity deregulation came into effect

In New Hampshire, four electric distribution companies used to serve specific franchise territories. The territories were:

Public Service Company of New Hampshire

  • Unitil Energy Systems, Inc.
  • Granite State Electric Company
  • New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, Inc.

The New Hampshire Legislature enacted a statute in 1996 that directed the Public Utilities Commission to develop a restructuring plan for the entire state to implement electric retail choice for all consumers by Jan. 1, 1998. In Feb. 1997, the Commission issued a restructuring plan, although subsequent litigation slowed down its implementation. Since these litigations forced the Commission to consider just the compliance plans or settlement agreements that were filed voluntarily. Electric utilities in the state were restructured at different times and to some extent, in different ways.

Phases of deregulation

In Aug. 1998, the first electric utility to restructure was GSEC, which was followed by PSNH in May 2001. In Dec. 2002, the UES companies merged, and subsequently introduced retail choice on May 1, 2003. In the restructured franchise areas, though competitive suppliers were allowed to provide service, a majority of residential customers preferred to opt for default energy service.

Nearly 70 percent of New Hampshire’s retail customers were served by PSNH, which was a subsidiary of Northeast Utilities. Demographically and geographically diverse areas were served by this company, which ranged from southern urban areas to northern rural areas of the State. However, in Dec. 2002, the share of PSNH in the Seabrook Nuclear Power Facility was sold to comply with the PSNH Restructuring Settlement but retained ownership of hydropower and fossil facilities. PSNH acquired Connecticut Valley Electric Company in Jan. 2004. Thus, customers of CVEC became customers of PSNH and started paying the same rates as other PSNH customers. Subsequent to the completion of this acquisition, Central Vermont Public Service Company and CVEC withdrew their claims in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Federal court, consequently resolving all lingering litigation related to the restructuring.

Nearly 6 percent of New Hampshire’s retail customers are served by GSEC, whose franchise province includes southern and western areas of the state. Following an ownership transfer in 2012, GSEC (which was previously National Grid’s subsidiary) became a subsidiary of Liberty Utilities.

When two of its former subsidiaries, namely Exeter and Hampton Electric Company, and Concord Electric Company, were combined by Unitil Corporation, UES was formed. It served almost 11 percent of retail customers in New Hampshire who lived in the Capital and Seacoast areas.

New Hampshire residents living in the central part of the State, which constitute almost 11 percent of the total retail customers, are served by NHEC. Thus, the electricity deregulation came into existence all over the State.


About Glacial Energy- Glacial Energy is one of the fastest growing national retail energy suppliers selling electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in deregulated markets across the country. Glacial Energy has the resources and market knowledge to provide customized quotes for your business or cost saving opportunities for your home. Learn more about Glacial Energy by visiting



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