DG 99-024
                 EnergyNorth Natural Gas, Inc.
      Granting EnergyNorth Natural Gas, Inc.'s Motion for
          Protective Order and Confidential Treatment
                    O R D E R   N O.  23,160
                               March 9, 1999
       On February 16, 1999, EnergyNorth Natural Gas, Inc.
     (ENGI) filed with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission
     (Commission) a Motion for Protective Order and Confidential
     Treatment (Motion) of information that would identify ENGI's gas
     suppliers and certain terms of the gas supply agreements
     negotiated by ENGI with said suppliers.  ENGI seeks protection of
     this information as it relates to the pending Cost of Gas
     Adjustment (CGA) proceeding in both the discovery and the hearing
     phases of this docket.
       In its Motion, ENGI states that the documents contain
     confidential commercial information and trade secrets which fall
     within the exemption from public disclosure of RSA 91-A:5, IV and
     N.H. Admin. Rules, Puc 204.06.  ENGI also states that it does not
     disclose the identified information and terms to anyone outside
     its corporate affiliates and representatives.
       The Commission recognizes that the information
     identified above is critical to the review of the CGA filing by
     the Commission, the Commission Staff (Staff) and the Office of
     Consumer Advocate (OCA).  This is the type of information which
     was anticipated would be protected when N.H. Admin. Rules, Puc
     204.06 was adopted.  The Commission also recognizes that the
     information contained in the filing is sensitive commercial
     information in a competitive market.  Thus, based on ENGI's
     representations, under the balancing test we have applied in
     prior cases, e.g., Re NET (Auditel), 80 NHPUC 437 (1995), Re
     Eastern Utilities Associates, 76 NHPUC 236 (1991), we find that
     the benefits to ENGI of non-disclosure in this case outweigh the
     benefits to the public of disclosure.  The information,
     therefore, is exempt from public disclosure pursuant to RSA
     91-A:5,IV and N.H. Admin. Rules, Puc 204.06. 
         Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby
         ORDERED, that ENGI's Motion for Protective Treatment is
     GRANTED to allow Staff and the OCA to review fully the CGA filing
     and to protect from public disclosure the information delineated
     above which is relevant to the pending CGA proceeding; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that with regard to the CGA identified
     information and terms, ENGI shall submit a redacted CGA filing
     for public review and provide three unredacted copies for the
     Commission, Staff, and the OCA; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that in future filings, ENGI shall
     continue to submit, concurrent with its request for confidential
     treatment, both redacted and three unredacted filings which the
     Commission shall protect from disclosure during the pendency of
     its review of the request for confidentiality, pursuant to N.H.
     Admin. Rules, Puc 204.06; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that this Order is subject to the
     ongoing rights of the Commission, on its own motion or on the
     motion of Staff or any party or any other member of the public to
     reconsider this Order in light of RSA 91-A, should circumstances
     so warrant.
         By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this ninth day of March, 1999.
           Douglas L. Patch       Susan S. Geiger     Nancy Brockway
               Chairman           Commissioner          Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director and Secretary