DR 96-150 STATEWIDE ELECTRIC UTILITY RESTRUCTURING PLAN Order Addressing Implementation Date O R D E R N O. 22,971 July 1, 1998 Pursuant to RSA 374-F, as amended by Senate Bill 341, the Commission is required to implement retail choice for all customers of utilities under its jurisdiction by July 1, 1998, unless the Commission finds that delay is required by events beyond the Commission's control. We herein find that delay is unavoidable due to the amended preliminary injunction issued by the United States District Court in the litigation initiated by Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH) last year. The injunction applies to enforcement actions of the Commission relative to PSNH, the Unitil Companies, Connecticut Valley Electric Company and Granite State Electric Company. The preliminary injunction states that the Commission is enjoined from requiring any plaintiff, including plaintiff/intervenors, to implement [RSA] 374-F in accordance the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission's orders issued in the Electric restructuring Docket DR 96-150, or requiring plaintiffs to take any action under those orders, including the filing of compliance plans. A copy of the preliminary injunction, which was issued on June 12, 1998, is attached to this order as Exhibit A. The Commission is pursuing an expedited appeal of this order at the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Despite the obstacles created by the PSNH lawsuit, we note that significant progress has been made in the case of two utilities. In a special public meeting held on June 26, 1998, the Commission conditionally approved a settlement proposal offered by Granite State Electric Company (GSEC) and various other stakeholders. See Commission Docket, DR 98-012. Finally, we note that the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative Inc.(NHEC), has submitted a compliance filing and we have established a procedural schedule to address that filing. See DR 98-097. Although NHEC is not a plaintiff in the federal court litigation, in Order No. 22,513 (February 28, 1997) we observed that NHEC's interim stranded cost charges could be established only after a decision was issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relative to the wholesale requirements contract between NHEC and PSNH. On May 29, 1998, FERC issued an order which will enable us to establish NHEC's interim stranded cost charges, and we intend to do so consistent with FERC's decision. Nonetheless, this cannot be done by July 1, 1998, again due to circumstances beyond the control of the Commission. Despite the fact that retail competition cannot be accomplished by July 1, 1998 the Commission will endeavor to implement retail competition consistent with our obligations under state and federal law as soon as possible. Based upon the foregoing; it is hereby ORDERED, that it is in the public interest to delay electric industry restructuring beyond July 1, 1998 due to circumstances beyond the control of this Commission. By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New Hampshire this first day of July, 1998. Douglas L. Patch Bruce B. Ellsworth Susan S. Geiger Chairman Commissioner Commissioner Attested by: Thomas B. Getz Executive Director and Secretary 1. PSNH et al., v. Patch et al., N.H. Case No. 97-97-JD, R.I. Case No. 97-121L. 2.See, Order Dismissing Complaint, Directing Submittal of Compliance Filing, and Rejecting Alternate Rate Schedule, 83 FERC 61,223 (May 29, 1998).