DR 98-043
                 New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, Inc.
                   1998-99 Demand Side Management Filing
           Order Approving Interventions and Procedural Schedule
                         O R D E R   N O.  22,937
                               May 15, 1998
         APPEARANCES: Dean, Rice & Kane by Anne Davidson,
     Esq., for the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, Inc.;
     Heidi Kroll for the Governor's Office of Energy and
     Community Services; Kenneth E. Traum for the Office of the
     Consumer Advocate; and Michelle A. Caraway and James J.
     Cunningham, Jr. for the Staff of the New Hampshire Public
     Utilities Commission.
               On March 23, 1998, the New Hampshire Electric
     Cooperative, Inc. (NHEC) filed with the New Hampshire Public
     Utilities Commission (Commission) a petition for approval of
     its Demand Side Management (DSM) Program for the program
     year July 1, 1998 through June 30, 1999.  Included in the
     petition is the supporting testimony of Bob Reals, Manager
     of Energy Services, and Heather Saladino, Manager of Rates &
               NHEC proposes a DSM Program budget of $1,206,059
     with $827,332 allocated for residential programs and
     $378,726 allocated for commercial/industrial programs.  NHEC
     intends to offer a program portfolio of the same ten
     programs approved by the Commission for the 1997-98 program
     year with only minor program modifications.  NHEC proposes
     to change its current DSM surcharge for its residential
     class from $0.00174 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to $0.00159/kWh,
     for its general class from $0.00231/kWh to $0.00203/kWh, and
     for the primary general class from $0.00270/kWh to
               By an Order of Notice issued April 3, 1998, the
     Commission scheduled a prehearing conference and first
     technical session for April 29, 1998, set deadlines for
     intervention requests and objections thereto, outlined a
     proposed procedural schedule, and required the Parties and
     Commission Staff (Staff) to summarize their positions with
     regard to the filing for the record.  On April 20, 1998, the
     Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) filed a Petition to
     Intervene.  On April 23, 1998, the Governor's Office of
     Energy and Community Services (ECS) filed a Motion for
     Limited Intervention.  No party objected to either CLF's or
     ECS's petitions and the Commission granted their
     interventions at the prehearing conference.  The Office of
     the Consumer Advocate (OCA) is a statutorily recognized
               At the prehearing conference, NHEC, ECS, OCA and
     Staff agreed to the proposed procedural schedule as outlined
     in the Order of Notice and as follows:
          Data Requests by Staff and                 May 4, 1998 
          Company Data Responses                    May 13, 1998 
          Technical Session                         May 20, 1998 
          Testimony by Staff and                    May 27, 1998 
             Intervenors (by fax)
          Data Requests by the Company              May 29, 1998 
          Data Responses by Staff and               June 3, 1998 
          Settlement Conference, 10 AM              June 5, 1998 
          Filing of Settlement Agreement, if any   June 10, 1998 
          Hearing, 10 AM                           June 17, 1998.
               At the prehearing conference, in accordance with
     the Order of Notice, NHEC, ECS, OCA and Staff stated their
     positions with regard to the filing for the record.  NHEC
     stated that it has presented the Commission with a DSM
     Program similar to the one approved by the Commission last
     year.  In order to recover costs associated with its
     program, NHEC has revised its DSM surcharges which reflect
     rate decreases for all of its rate classes.  The DSM
     surcharges also reflect a carry-over from last year's
     program of approximately $260,000.
               ECS stated that it supports the types and range of
     programs proposed by NHEC.  ECS also stated that it
     encourages NHEC to consolidate its efforts regarding market
     transformation with regional and national initiatives to
     take advantage of possible synergies.  Additionally, ECS
     stated that its concern that approval of underspending of
     NHEC's DSM Program budget to effect rate decreases would set
     a bad precedent for other utilities in subsequent program
     years.  The OCA stated that as a preliminary position, it
     has no major problems with NHEC's filing.  However, should
     NHEC eventually prevail at the Federal Energy Regulatory
     Commission in its case against Public Service Company of New
     Hampshire regarding the Amended Partial Requirements
     Agreement, then the OCA believes that the cost-effectiveness
     of NHEC's proposed programs will significantly change due to
     lower avoided costs.
               Staff stated that its concerns relate to the
     interplay between NHEC's current rate case and its effects
     on this DSM Program filing, whether NHEC intends to recover
     lost revenues and how NHEC developed its budget for the
     1998-99 program year.  
               CLF was not present at the prehearing conference
     but asked Staff to state that it currently has no position
     but that CLF intends to fully participate in the docket and
     in the technical session scheduled to immediately follow the
     prehearing conference.
               We find the proposed procedural schedule to be
     reasonable and will, therefore, approve it for the duration
     of the case.  In so far as ECS's request to participate in
     the docket is concerned, we note that our rules no longer
     specify what limited intervention status entails, though RSA
     541-A:32 gives us the authority to impose conditions on
     participation in the proceeding.  We take at face value
     ECS's request in this docket for limited intervention to
     participate "in technical / settlement sessions, and
     submitting brief written comments, if appropriate" and will
     grant their request.  To the extent they wish to offer
     detailed comments on the specifics of NHEC's or Staff's or
     any other party's testimony or filings, as they have done in
     some other recent DSM proceedings, they should submit
     prefiled direct testimony and be subject to
     cross-examination, which would amount to full intervenor
     status.  We appreciate ECS's willingness to take the time to
     participate in our dockets and encourage them to continue to
     do so.    
               Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby 
               ORDERED, that CLF's Petition to Intervene and
     ECS's Motion for Limited Intervention are GRANTED; and it is
               FURTHER ORDERED, that the procedural schedule
     delineated above is APPROVED.
               By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this fifteenth day of May, 1998.
      Douglas L. Patch    Bruce B. Ellsworth     Susan S. Geiger
          Chairman           Commissioner         Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director and Secretary