DR 98-142
                       Northern Utilities, Inc.
               1998/1999 Demand Side Management Program
                   Order Suspending Proposed Rates
                        O R D E R  N O. 23,059
                           November 2, 1998

         On August 3, 1998, Northern Utilities, Inc. (Northern)
filed with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission
(Commission) a petition for approval of its 1998/1999 Demand Side
Management (DSM) Program for the period November 1, 1998 through
October 31, 1999.  Northern proposed the following Conservation
Charges associated with its DSM Programs for effect November 1,
1998: Residential Water Heating at $0.0108/therm, an increase of
$0.0168/therm over the existing Conservation Charge; Residential
Heating at $0.0221/therm, an increase of $0.0097/therm; Small
Commercial at $0.0325/therm, an increase of $0.0136/therm; and
Large Commercial at $0.0193/therm, an increase of $0.0145/therm.
         By Order No. 23,014 (September 9, 1998), the Commission
approved the proposed procedural schedule.  Northern and
Commission Staff (Staff) engaged in formal discovery.  On October
6, 1998, Staff submitted prefiled testimony.  On October 16,
1998, Northern and Staff participated in a settlement conference;
however, they were unable to reach an agreement.  On August 26,
1998, a hearing on the merits was held at which time Northern
filed a revised filing with updated Conservation Charges.
         On November 2, 1998, the Commission deliberated this
docket at its weekly meeting; however, no written order was
signed.  Given that Northern has proposed that revised
Conservation Charges go into effect on November 1, 1998, we will
suspend the proposed rates to allow adequate time for the
Commission to issue its final order in this proceeding.  Further,
we will order Northern to continue its DSM Programs as approved
in Order No. 22,846 (February 4, 1998) and to continue to bill
the currently effective Conservation Charges.
         Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby
         ORDERED, that Northern's proposed Conservation Charges
are SUSPENDED; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that Northern continue to offer its
DSM programs and to collect the Conservation Charges as approved
in Order No. 22,846 until the final order in this docket is

         By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
Hampshire this second day of November, 1998. 

               Douglas L. Patch     Susan S. Geiger        Nancy Brockway
                   Chairman            Commissioner         Commissioner

Attested by:

Thomas B. Getz
Executive Director and Secretary