DR 98-029
                       EnergyNorth Natural Gas, Inc.
                   Petition for Approval to Modify its 
               Natural Gas Price Risk Management Policy and 
                to Adopt a Natural Gas Price Stability Plan
                    Order Approving Procedural Schedule
                         O R D E R   N O.  22,914
                         April 30, 1998
         APPEARANCES: McLane, Graf, Raulerson and Middleton
     by Steven V. Camerino, Esq., for EnergyNorth Natural Gas,
     Inc. and Michelle A. Caraway for the Staff of the New
     Hampshire Public Utilities Commission.
               On March 6, 1998, EnergyNorth Natural Gas, Inc.
     (ENGI) filed with the New Hampshire Public Utilities
     Commission (Commission) its Petition for Approval to Modify
     its Natural Gas Price Risk Management Policy (Hedging
     Policy) and to Adopt a Natural Gas Price Stability Plan
     (PSP).  On March 25, 1998, Commission Staff (Staff)
     recommended that the Hedging Policy and the PSP be
               ENGI's petition for the PSP requests authority for
     ENGI to offer a set price to customers who elect to
     participate in the PSP based on commodity prices which have
     been locked in ahead of time with ENGI's suppliers.  The PSP
     will not guarantee lower prices than those available under
     the cost of gas adjustment (CGA); it will simply ensure a
     set price for the winter period to customers who desire
     price certainty.
               On April 2, 1998, the Commission issued an Order
     of Notice which bifurcated the Hedging Policy and the PSP
     and which scheduled a prehearing conference for April 21,
     1998 to address the PSP.  The Order of Notice also set
     deadlines for intervention requests and objections thereto,
     outlined a proposed procedural schedule, and required the
     Parties and Staff to summarize their positions with regard
     to the filing for the record.  There were no Motions to
     Intervene filed.  The Office of the Consumer Advocate (OCA)
     is a statutorily recognized intervenor.
               At the Prehearing Conference, ENGI and Staff
     agreed to modify the proposed procedural schedule as
     outlined in the Order of Notice.  The revised procedural
     schedule is as follows:
          Data Requests by Staff and              April 30, 1998 
          Company Data Responses                    May 11, 1998 
          Technical Session                         May 14, 1998 
          Testimony by Staff and                    May 21, 1998 
          Data Requests by the Company              May 28, 1998 
          Data Responses by Staff and               June 4, 1998 
          Settlement Conference                    June 11, 1998 
                                                         at 10:00
          Filing of Settlement Agreement, if any   June 16, 1998 
          Hearing                                       June 26,
                                                         at 1:30
     P.M.           In accordance with the Order of Notice, ENGI
     and Staff stated their positions with regard to the filing
     for the record.  ENGI stated that the Order of Notice
     adequately described the PSP and the issues that need to be
     addressed in this proceeding.  
               Staff stated that it supports the concept of the
     PSP; however, Staff is concerned about the actual
     implementation of the PSP, specifically as it relates to
     possible cost-subsidization by firm sales CGA customers.
               The OCA was not present at the Prehearing
     Conference but requested that the following statement be
     read into the record by Staff:
          As far as a preliminary position on this docket is
               concerned, the OCA is supportive of giving all
               customers the option of a gas price stability plan as
               long as it doesn't increase the CGA rates paid by
               customers staying with the traditional CGA.  But we
               wonder if a better alternative is to allow third party
               suppliers to bid for the right to serve these
               The Hearing Examiner's report was issued on April
     23, 1998.  The Hearing Examiner recommended that the
     Commission issue an order approving the proposed procedural
     schedule, as amended, as the Commission calendar permits.
               We find the proposed procedural schedule to be
     reasonable and will, therefore, approve it for the duration
     of the proceeding.
               Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby 
               ORDERED, that the procedural schedule delineated
     above is APPROVED.
               By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this thirtieth day of April, 1998. 
                                                                             Douglas L. Patch                   Bruce B. Ellsworth              Susan S. Geiger
            Chairman         Commissioner         Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Claire D. DiCicco
     Assistant Secretary