DE 98-075
                       ENERGYNORTH NATURAL GAS, INC.
             Order Nisi Approving Application to Extend Waiver
                           of Rule Puc 505.04(c)
                         O R D E R   N O.  22,980
                               July 13, 1998

         On June 4, 1996, the Commission, in Docket No. DE
96-001, pursuant to Rule Puc 201.05, issued Order No. 22,183,
granting EnergyNorth Natural Gas Inc.,(ENGI) a waiver of Rule Puc
505.04(b)(now Rule Puc 505.04(c)) related to periodic tests of
meters in service. In lieu of the existing standards, the waiver
allowed ENGI to implement an alternative methodology for meter
testing based on a program entitled the  "Statistical Sampling
Plan".  The objective of the new plan was to provide for the same
level of meter accuracy coincident with reductions in testing
costs due to operating efficiencies. 
         On May 8, 1998, ENGI requested that the Commission (A)
     grant an extension of its waiver from compliance with Rule Puc
     505.04(c); and (B) allow ENGI to continue to utilize the
     Statistical Sampling Plan attached to the filing as Exhibit A. 
     In support of the request, ENGI states that utilization of the
     Statistical Sampling Plan has resulted in cost avoidance for its
     customers due to the creation of operating efficiencies in its
     meter accuracy and testing procedures. In addition, ENGI notes
     that overall meter accuracy rates have increased while the plan
     has been in effect.  
         On July 10, 1998, Commission Staff, (Staff) submitted a
     memo recommending acceptance of the application for extension.
     Staff based its recommendation on a review of the application and
     annual meter test data for fiscal years 1996 and 1997.  Staff
     concurred with ENGI's representation that test results indicated
     that meter accuracy has improved.  Staff noted that it routinely
     analyzes meter accuracy and recommended that the alternative
     testing methodology be continued until the next general
     rulemaking or until Staff advises otherwise.  Having reviewed
     Staff's memo, we concur with the recommendations contained
     therein and will approve the filing on a nisi basis in order to
     provide an opportunity for public input.
         Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby 
         ORDERED NISI, that ENGI's application for extension of
     waiver of Rule Puc 505.04(c) related to periodic tests of meters
     in service is granted; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that ENGI will utilize the Statistical
     Sampling Plan identified as Exhibit A in the filing in lieu of
     the provisions of Rule Puc 505.04(c) as the alternative method
     for testing meter accuracy; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that the waiver shall remain in effect
     until otherwise directed by the Commission; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that pursuant to N.H. Admin. Rules,
     Puc 1604.03 or Puc 1605.03, the Petitioner shall cause a copy of
     this Order Nisi to be published once in a statewide newspaper of
     general circulation or of circulation in those portions of the
     state where operations are conducted, such publication to be no
     later than July 20, 1998 and to be documented by affidavit filed
     with this office on or before July 27, 1998; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that all persons interested in
     responding to this petition be notified that they may submit
     their comments or file a written request for a hearing on this
     matter before the Commission no later than August 3, 1998; and it
         FURTHER ORDERED, that any party interested in
     responding to such comments or request for hearing shall do so no
     later than August 10, 1998; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that this Order Nisi shall be
     effective August 12, 1998, unless the Commission provides
     otherwise in a supplemental order issued prior to the effective
         By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this thirteenth 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