DR 98-139
                  Public Service Company of New Hampshire
                      Special Contract Service Rates
            Order Approving Delay in Filing Procedural Schedule
                         O R D E R  N O.  23,012  
                             September 8, 1998
         APPEARANCES: Gerald M. Eaton, Esq. for Public Service
     Company of New Hampshire; Representative Jeb E. Bradley;
     Ransmeier and Spellman by Dom S. D'Ambruoso for Anheuser-Busch;
     Gallagher, Callahan and Gartrell by David A. Garfunkel, Esq. for
     the Wausau Papers of New Hampshire; Dupont Group by James Monahan
     for Cabletron Systems; Anne F. Ross, Esq.; James T. Rodier, Esq.,
     Henry Veilleux for the Business and Industry Association; Pentti
     Aalto; Office of the Consumer Advocate by Michael Holmes, Esq.
     for residential ratepayers; and Eugene F. Sullivan, III, Esq. for
     the Staff of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission
         On July 31, 1998, the New Hampshire Public Utilities
     Commission (Commission) issued an Order of Notice opening a
     proceeding to consider Public Service of New Hampshire's (PSNH)
     May 31, 1998, request to modify its tariff to amend certain
     special contracts.  PSNH's proposed tariff change was intended to
     provide a rate decrease to customers taking service under special
     contracts tied to the Fuel and Purchase Power Adjustment Clause
     (FPPAC) and the "BA" component of FPPAC.  The filing was
     precipitated by a change made to the BA factor of the FPPAC in 
     DR 98-014 to provide base rate relief to all PSNH ratepayers.
          The Order of Notice scheduled a pre-hearing conference
     for August 25, 1998, for each party to provide a preliminary
     statement of its position with regard to PSNH's petition and to
     set a procedural schedule to govern the Commission's
     investigation into the proposed tariff modification.  Prior to
     the pre-hearing conference, requests to intervene were received
     from Representative Jeb E. Bradley, Anheuser-Busch (AB), Campaign
     for Ratepayers Rights (CRR), Wausau Papers of New Hampshire
     (Wausau), Cabletron Systems (Cabletron), Anne Ross, Esq., James
     Rodier, Esq., and Elliot and Williams Roses, Inc.  
          At the duly noticed pre-hearing conference on August 
     25, 1998, representatives from PSNH, the New Hampshire Public
     Utilities Commission Staff (Staff), the Office of Consumer
     Advocate (OCA), Wausau, the Business & Industry Association of
     New Hampshire (BIA), AB, and CRR were present along with Mr. 
     Rodier, Ms. Ross, Representative Bradley and Mr. Aalto.  The
     previously filed requests for intervention were granted.   
     Following the pre-hearing conference the BIA filed for
     intervention.  No objections having been received, the
     intervention is granted.  In accordance with the Order of Notice,
     the parties and Staff stated their initial positions.   
          PSNH stated that changes to the BA portion of FPPAC
     created an unintentional rate increase to 35 special contract
     customers.  PSNH sought to solve the discrete problem of
     eliminating the unintended rate increase to those 35 special
     contract customers without affecting other customers' rates. 
     Rather than having to renegotiate 35 contracts, PSNH proposed to
     address this issue in one proceeding through a tariff revision.
          The BIA's concern is that the value of the affected
     special contracts be retained and not impact other customers.
     Similarly, Representative Bradley took the position that there
     should be no impact on other customers in any mechanism
     undertaken to maintain the value of the special contracts.  Ms.
     Ross concurred with the position taken by BIA and Representative
          AB and Wausau stated the joint position that the
     special contracts should be amended to maintain the BA impact at
     the current level.
          Cabletron stated its concern that any impact from
     adjusting the special contracts not place any further burden on
     Cabletron and other ratepayers not being served under special
          Mr. Rodier took the position that the end result of any
     adjustment to special contracts should result in no effect upon
     special contract rates.  He argued that the mechanism should not
     be through a tariff change but through an amendment which would
     be applied uniformly to all 35 special contracts.
          The OCA stated that the contracts in question were
     negotiated by sophisticated participants at arms length and
     approved by the Commission.  The Commission would have to be
     presented with evidence that any change to these contracts is in
     the public interest.  CRR concurred with the position of the OCA.
          Staff took no position. 
          The Parties participated in a technical session at
     which they discussed other proceedings that would affect special
     contacts and the scope of this docket.  The parties and Staff
     scheduled another technical session for September 3, 1998.
          Following the September 3, 1998 technical session,
     Staff notified the Commission by letter dated September 4, 1998,
     that the parties and Staff were working towards a generic
     modification to these 35 special contracts to address potential
     changes in the inputs to the FPPAC rate and changes in
     anticipation of retail competition.  The letter stated the
     parties would meet again on October 6, 1998, to discuss these
          Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby
          ORDERED, that the parties shall meet on October 6, 1998
     and file with the Commission on or before October 9, 1998, a
     proposed procedural schedule for the remainder of this
     proceeding; and it is
          FURTHER ORDERED, that the motions to intervene are
     granted; and it is
          FURTHER ORDERED, that PSNH shall notify all 35 special
     contracts at issue herein of the proposed generic change to these
     special contracts; and it is
          FURTHER ORDERED, that PSNH shall notify all the parties
     to DR 96-150 and all other parties holding special contracts of
     its proposed changes to these special contracts. 
          By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this eighth day of September, 1998.
        Douglas L. Patch  Bruce B. Ellsworth     Susan S. Geiger
            Chairman         Commissioner         Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director & Secretary