DF 98-218
              Connecticut Valley Electric Company
Petition for Approval Short-Term Financing, Extension of Current
          Long-Term Financing and Mortgage on Assets 
                  Prehearing Conference Order
                    O R D E R   N O.  23,163
                         March 16, 1999
       APPEARANCES: Kenneth C. Picton, Esq. on behalf of
     Connecticut Valley Electric Company; Steven V. Camerino, Esq. on
     behalf of the City of Claremont; Michael Holmes, Esq. of the
     Office of Consumer Advocate on behalf of residential ratepayers;
     and Robert Frank, Esq. for the Staff of the New Hampshire Public
     Utilities Commission.
       On December 17, 1998, Connecticut Valley Electric
     Company (CVEC) filed a petition seeking approval to enter into
     the following transactions with Citizens Bank: (a) a $1.25
     million short-term revolving line of credit; (b) an extension of
     its current long-term loan in the amount of $3.75 million, and
     (c) a security agreement granting Citizens bank a first priority
     mortgage and security interest in substantially all of CVEC's
     assets.  CVEC's petition states that its requests are made in
     accordance with RSA 369:1, 369:2 and 369:7.    
       On December 28, 1998, the City of Claremont, New
     Hampshire (Claremont) filed a petition to intervene in this
     docket.  The Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA), a statutorily
     recognized intervenor, also appeared in this proceeding. 
       On February 3, 1999, a duly noticed prehearing
     conference was held during which CVEC summarized the contents of
     its petition and the materials supporting its request.  
     Claremont, the OCA and the Commission Staff each expressed
     concern about the potential impact the financing might have on
     ratepayers' ability to obtain refunds in dockets DR 97-241, DR
     98-206 and DC 98-198.
       On March 10, 1999, the Commission Staff filed a letter
     indicating that Staff, OCA, CVEC and Claremont had agreed to the
     following procedural schedule:  
       Staff/Intervenor Data Requests - February 17, 1999
       CVEC's Responses - February 24, 1999
       Dispositive Motions - March 3, 1999
       Responses to Dispositive Motions - March 15, 1999
         Staff/Intervenor Testimony - March 29, 1999
         CVEC Data Requests - April 5, 1999
         Staff/Intervenor Responses - April 12, 1999
         Settlement Conference - May 10, 1999 (10 a.m.)
         Hearing - May 20, 1999 (10 a.m.)
       We grant Claremont's petition to intervene, and subject
     to one amendment, we approve the proposed procedural schedule set
     forth above.  In the event that a settlement is reached among
     some or all of the participants in this proceeding, we would
     expect that a stipulation would be filed at least one week prior
     to the hearing.
       Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby
       ORDERED, that the City of Claremont's petition to
     intervene is GRANTED; and it is
       FURTHER ORDERED, that the procedural schedule set forth
     above is APPROVED. 
       By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this sixteenth day of March, 1999.
           Douglas L. Patch       Susan S. Geiger     Nancy Brockway
               Chairman           Commissioner          Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director and Secretary