DE 96-227
                        Petition of Town of Hudson
     Order Granting Respective Motions to Terminate Service and Engage
                               in Business 
                         O R D E R   N O.  22,880
                              March 23, 1998

         On February 27, 1998, Consumers New Hampshire Water
Company (Consumers) filed jointly with the Town of Hudson a
motion seeking authority for Consumers to terminate water service
in New Hampshire pursuant to RSA 374:28.  On the same date,
Pennichuck Corporation and Pennichuck East Utilities, Inc.
(collectively, Pennichuck) filed a motion seeking authority to
engage in business pursuant to RSA 374:22 and for approval of a
         In Order No. 22,792 (November 21, 1997), we
specifically noted that the proceeding did not include a request
to grant Pennichuck authority to engage in business in the non-Hudson area of the Consumers franchise area nor did the
proceeding include a request by Consumers to terminate service in
New Hampshire.  We did, however, find the sale of non-Hudson
     assets to Pennichuck was in the public interest and that
     Pennichuck had sufficient managerial, technical and financial
     expertise to assume ownership of the assets.  We also found that
     the proposed capital structure and interim rates were reasonable. 
     We had earlier found, in Order No. 22,778, (October 30, 1997)
     that the sale of Consumers' assets in the Town of Hudson to the
     Town comports with the requirements of RSA 38.
         As a result of our findings in Order No. 22,792, we
     need not grant additional approval of Pennichuck's tariff. 
     Interim rates have already been approved and the tariff filed on
     February 27, 1998 will be treated as a compliance filing and
     accepted for filing so long as it provides a 10% decrease in
     rates consistent with Order No. 22,792 and so long as it is
     otherwise consistent with the terms of the Pennichuck Water
     Works, Inc. tariff on file.  
         As for Pennichuck's request to engage in business in
     the non-Hudson portion of Consumers' service territory, we
     effectively concluded that doing so would be for the public good
     when we determined that Pennichuck had sufficient managerial,
     technical and financial expertise.  Moreover, the requirements of
     374:22, III do not apply inasmuch as Pennichuck will be taking
     over the operations of Consumers, which is in compliance with
     requirements pertaining to the suitability and availability of
     water.  Furthermore, no parties have objected to Pennichuck's
     motion to engage in business.  Accordingly, the single remaining
     task is to grant permission and we do so recognizing that we had
     previously made all the necessary substantive findings and that
     now all procedural requirements are met.  Finally, given that
     there is no objection to Pennichuck's motion, even had we not
     made all the necessary findings before, we could grant permission
     now without a hearing pursuant to RSA 374:30.
         With respect to Consumers' motion to terminate service, 
     as with Pennichuck's motion above, we made all the necessary
     substantive findings a fortiori in previous orders.  Accordingly,
     both Pennichuck's and Consumers' motions, as well as our
     approval, are formalities.  Finally, as for Consumers'
     termination of service, the requirements of RSA 374:28 are
     satisfied inasmuch as the assumption of service by the Town of
     Hudson and Pennichuck in their respective areas ensures that the
     public good does not require the further continuance of service
     by Consumers. 
         Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby 
         ORDERED, that Pennichuck's motion to engage in business
     is APPROVED; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that Consumers' motion to terminate
     service is APPROVED. 
                   By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this twenty-third day of March, 1998.
        Douglas L. Patch    Bruce B. Ellsworth        Susan S. Geiger
            Chairman           Commissioner            Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director and Secretary