For Immediate Release
Posted: December 13, 2023


New Hampshire Department of Energy Files Motion to Dismiss Liberty Electric Rate Case

For Immediate Release
December 13, 2023

Chris Ellms Jr.
Deputy Commissioner, NH Dept. of Energy

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Energy (DOE) announced today that DOE has submitted a motion to dismiss the electric distribution rate case filed by Liberty Utilities (Granite State Electric) Corp. d/b/a Liberty (Liberty).  The DOE seeks dismissal on the grounds that Liberty cannot meet its burden to prove that the rates it seeks are just and reasonable due to a change Liberty made to its software systems that impacted the company’s financial accounting.  The DOE’s motion was filed in Public Utilities Commission (PUC) docket DE 23-039.

In June, Liberty filed its petition proposing to increase its electric distribution rates by over $21 million over a three-year period.  The DOE is an automatic party in the proceeding, appearing before the PUC to build a complete record and to advocate for the interests of the State of New Hampshire and its citizens.  In addition to the motion to dismiss the rate case, the DOE filed testimony in the case today.  The DOE’s testimony demonstrates that, even if the rate case is not dismissed, Liberty’s request for significant distribution rate increases is not justified. These filings are before the PUC who will ultimately decide the case. 

“The significant rate increases proposed by Liberty are unwarranted and would be a heavy burden on New Hampshire families and businesses,” said Jared Chicoine, Commissioner of the Department of Energy.  “The Department of Energy’s motion to dismiss demonstrates that the financial information underlying the Company’s case cannot be relied upon, and our testimony demonstrates that Liberty’s requested rate increase is unreasonable.  The Department of Energy will continue to vigorously advocate on behalf of customers and the interests of the State of New Hampshire.”

“Accurate and reliable financial information is the foundation of any rate case,” said Tom Frantz, Regulatory Director at the Department of Energy.  “As regulators, we are required to carefully examine the financial data filed by a utility in support of proposed rate changes to ensure that those rates, if approved, are just and reasonable.  When that data cannot be trusted, the best approach is to start a new rate case based on reliable, timely data.  The Department’s dedicated staff has worked tirelessly on the Liberty rate request. The motion and testimony filed today with the PUC clearly demonstrate that Liberty has not met its burden to justify the rates they proposed.”

Liberty has also filed a natural gas distribution rate case, PUC docket DG 23-067.  The DOE testimony in that proceeding is due on February 21, 2024.