Retail Energy Supply Association, 052220 NHPUC, 26, 359

Docket Nº:Order 26, 359
Opinion Judge:DIANNE MARTIN, CHAIRWOMAN
Judge Panel:Kathryn M. Bailey, Michael S. Giaimo Commissioner
Case Date:May 22, 2020
 
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RETAIL ENERGY SUPPLY ASSOCIATION

Order No. 26, 359

DE 20-060

New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission

May 22, 2020

Motion for Rehearing of Order No. 26, 344

Order Dismissing Motion For Rehearing

DIANNE MARTIN, CHAIRWOMAN

In this order, the Commission dismisses the Motion for Rehearing of Order No. 26, 344 filed by the Retail Energy Supply Association.

I.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On March 13, 2020, Governor Christopher T. Sununu issued Executive Order 2020-04 declaring a State of Emergency due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and invoking emergency powers under Part II, Article 41 of the New Hampshire Constitution and RSA 4:45 and RSA 4:47. Paragraph 18 of that Executive Order stated that "additional temporary orders, directives, rules and regulations may be issued either by the Governor or by designated State officials with written approval of the Governor."

On March 17, 2020, the Governor issued Emergency Order #3 pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04 (Emergency Order #3), which imposed temporary prohibitions on disconnection or discontinuance of certain essential services. Under Emergency Order #3, "[a]ll providers of" certain essential services are temporarily "prohibited from disconnecting or discontinuing service for non-payment for the duration of the State of Emergency declared in Executive Order 2020-04." Essential services subject to Emergency Order #3 include "public utilities" under RSA 362:2 (e.g., electric distribution companies and natural gas local distribution companies) as well as service providers that are not public utilities (e.g., heating oil, cable, cellular, and internet providers).

Emergency Order #3 further directed that customers having arrearages accrued during the State of Emergency must be provided the opportunity to make a reasonable payment arrangement over no less than a six-month period and may not be charged any fees for late payment for arrearages accrued during the State of Emergency. Customers are not, however, relieved of their obligation to pay bills for receipt of any service covered by that order.

Emergency Order #3 also directed the Commission to provide assistance and guidance to public utilities in implementing the provisions of that order. Emergency Order #3 further stated that the Commission shall have the authority to enforce the Order through any method provided by current law.

On March 31, 2020, the Commission issued...

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