Electrical Authorities per State Laws and Administrative Rules

Effective July 1, 2021 New Hampshire Legislature created a newly formed Department of Energy separate from the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. As a result, the responsibilities that were formerly part of the Safety Division of the Public Utilities Commission have been transferred to the Division of Enforcement within the Department of Energy.

The new law HB2 allows the Division of Enforcement to utilize the existing safety related rules found in the applicable Administrative Rules known as Puc 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 1300, and 1400 rules. These rules typically have safety components that are to be exercised and enforced until new Department of Energy rules are established. The Division of Enforcement Website has historical information that will often reference the Safety Division of the Public Utilities Commission which was applicable for those periods prior to July 1, 2021.

  • General jurisdiction of public utilities - telephone, electric, heat, power, water and pipelines. RSA 362:2 (definition of public utility)
  • RSA 363:27 (Staff; Separation of Functions), 365:5 (Inquiries into Complaints) 365: (Inspection) 365:8 (Rulemaking for Safe Service, Investigations) 374:1 (Safe Service) coupled with 374:4 (Duty to Keep Informed) 374:7 (Investigation and Order Authority) 365:41 (Penalty Against Utility), 365:42 (Penalty Against Agent)
  • Authority of the Department of Energy over public utility condemnation proceedings, Department of Energy approval authority for utility crossing over public waters and State-owned land, RSA 371:17 and 371:20
  • Department of Energy authority to administer the Underground Utility Damage Prevention System
    • New Hampshire has 5 municipal electric companies
      • Ashland Municipal Electric Department
      • Littleton Electric Light & Water Department
      • North Hampton
      • Wolfeboro Municipal Electric Department
      • Woodsville Water & Light Department
    • Neither the Public Utilities Commission nor the Department of Energy has authority over these 5 electric municipal companies
    • These 5 municipal electric companies serve less than 2% of NH customers

New Hampshire has one Electric Cooperative (80,000 customers) in which the Public Utilities Commission/Department of Energy has a Memorandum of Understanding outlining safety requirements.