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Old 04-01-2024, 08:28 AM   #1
Leo Dwyer
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Post NH Electric Co-op - Good Governance Petition

Four years ago, many Winni Forum members signed a petition that nudged the NH Electric Co-op into the broadband business – a widely recognized victory that is bringing high-speed internet to more and more Co-op members every day. Now I write to ask your help in an equally important cause: Improving the governance of your Co-op.

Your signature on this petition before Friday, April 12 will ensure that Co-op members can weigh in on a much-needed bylaws change that will increase the effectiveness of the NHEC board as it tackles important decisions affecting your electric rates as well as the success of the new broadband venture.

Keep in mind this fact: NHEC is the only utility not regulated by the state Public Utilities Commission. Instead, the Co-op is self-regulated by your elected representatives – the NHEC Board of Directors.

I have served as an NHEC director for seven years and was one of the principal advocates for the company’s broadband venture. I helped get $65 million in grant money and worked with others to get New Hampshire Broadband off the ground.

However, I, and other directors, have sometimes been frustrated by obstacles encountered in gaining access to review business records, contracts, and even communications with the attorney hired to advise the Co-op. When information is provided, it is sometimes restricted in an unsearchable format, viewable only in a specific office location for a short time window.

The NHEC board can exercise its oversight on behalf of members only if it can ask informed questions about the company’s decisions and operations. But surprisingly, there is currently nothing in the NHEC Bylaws that guarantees directors access to the Co-op’s books and records.

The proposed bylaws change remedies that defect and guarantees that access.

We need 300 Co-op members to endorse this petition to get the proposed change placed on this year’s ballot which goes out in the second half of May. Just as in the broadband initiative of 2020, your participation matters. So please act now before this opportunity slips away.

Just click on this link and add your name and service address. It won’t even take a minute.

Thanks for your consideration and indispensable help.

Regards

Leo Dwyer
Sandwich, NH
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Old 04-01-2024, 10:04 AM   #2
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In my opinion, the NHEC is one of the most NON TRANSPARENT organizations in NH that boasts about being operated for its members. Budgets, operational costs, actuals costs incurred are all hidden from the "MEMBERS". Board of Director meetings lack any public disclosure of meeting specifics and board packet materials. Just look at their very poor on-line agendas. NHEC should never been deregulated by NH. NHEC management goes out of their way to prevent disclosure of information. Power disruptions are not the only thing that NHEC has that keeps members in the dark. Good for Mr. Dwyer to force more disclosure. I encourage all members to support his initiative. And while Moultonborough is the largest town in the NHEC territory (7% of customers), the town apparently is not even on the list for NHEC cable. Instead, a commercial business, FIDIUM, is already at work all over the town and their pricing appears better than NHEC. So goodbye to a potential NHEC installed cable base, as it is being stolen right under their noses by a better business model. So much for NHEC working for their "members". Just my opinion....
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Old 04-01-2024, 01:03 PM   #3
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Was the NHEC ever regulated by the State?
I know publicly-traded utilities are.
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Old 04-01-2024, 04:11 PM   #4
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Default Please sign the NHEC petition - let the sunshine in

I could not agree more that we need NHEC to be more transparent. I hope everyone who is a NHEC member will take the one minute to sign the petition(see the link in Leo Dwyer's letter above) and then vote in favor of the amendment later this spring.
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Old 04-02-2024, 10:13 AM   #5
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Default NH Electric Co-op - Good Governance Petition

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mercier View Post
Was the NHEC ever regulated by the State?

I know publicly-traded utilities are.
No. NHEC is privately owned by its members and is not, & to the best of my knowledge, has never been publicly traded.


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Old 04-02-2024, 10:57 AM   #6
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I was wondering if it ever fell under the PUC regulatory board.

Tummyman suggested that it had and was now deregulated...
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Old 04-02-2024, 11:44 AM   #7
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From NH Dept.of Energy...

The Department of Energy and the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission regulate the services and rates of electric utilities.

Four electric distribution companies operate in New Hampshire, each serving a mutually exclusive franchise territory. They include Public Service Company of New Hampshire d/b/a Eversource Energy (Eversource), Liberty Utilities (Granite State Electric) Corp. d/b/a Liberty Utilities (Liberty) Unitil Energy Systems, Inc. (UES) and the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, Inc. (NHEC). NHEC, a rural electric cooperative for which a certificate of deregulation is on file with the Commission, is not considered a public utility, but it must comply with certain laws and rules applicable to the other three electric distribution companies.
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Old 04-02-2024, 11:48 AM   #8
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And here is the link to the actual agreement between NHEC and NH PUC.

https://www.puc.nh.gov/regulatory/Or...ers/25645e.pdf
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Old 04-02-2024, 01:56 PM   #9
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I just didn't know the history.

I wonder why they thought it a good idea?

My understanding is that based on your location, you can't opt for a different transmission company.
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Old 04-02-2024, 06:15 PM   #10
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Default Wolfeboro Electric

From whom does Wolfeboro Electric purchase their electricity. They are not mentioned as one of the four suppliers in Tummyman's post.
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Old 04-02-2024, 06:45 PM   #11
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Tummyman posted the owners of the transmission lines.
Suppliers of the actual electricity are completely different.

Even Eversource does not supply the electricity, it just transmits it from the generator to the consumer.
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Old 04-03-2024, 04:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunfishman View Post
From whom does Wolfeboro Electric purchase their electricity. They are not mentioned as one of the four suppliers in Tummyman's post.
I'm pretty sure it's Eversource (Public Service). They usually get a multi year contract. They used to generate their own power back in the day. The power plant is on Lehner St.
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Old 04-01-2024, 06:13 PM   #13
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Default NH Electric Co-op - Good Governance Petition

Done. And web link for those on the Winni iPad app:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1F...&c=0&w=1&flr=0



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Old 04-04-2024, 07:48 PM   #14
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Got an e-mail today that they still need 100 signatures on the NHEC Good Governance Petition.


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Old 04-05-2024, 08:03 AM   #15
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Default URGENT - The Real BigGuy is right

We are still looking for 100 more members to sign on to insure the question gets on the ballot. So please Sign Here.

Also, as to the question as to why NHEC is not "regulated" by the PUC the theory is that a Coop is "Self Governed" as the members vote for a board of directors (folks like me) who are the defacto regulators. Given that, I trust you can see the importance of directors having open access to the books and records.

Thanks for supporting this ballot initiative.
Cheers
Leo
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Old Yesterday, 08:09 PM   #16
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As I understand it, voting opened but I didn't receive anything to vote nor do I see anything on how to vote - does anyone have any insight into the process?
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Old Today, 03:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
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As I understand it, voting opened but I didn't receive anything to vote nor do I see anything on how to vote - does anyone have any insight into the process?
I received an email this morning with a link to voting.

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Old Today, 08:25 AM   #18
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Hey Leo,

PM me a contact number or email if you don't mind. I've been a customer for over 20 years and just had an issue with billing. I think NHEC needs a little work on their autopay system and would like to talk to someone about it, and maybe a little customer service tune up too.
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Old Today, 10:09 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
I received an email this morning with a link to voting.
Same here. Also, if you have a SmartHub account you can log in there and find a link to voting.

The current directors, by a 6 to 5 vote, recommended a NO vote. It would have been useful to see who those 6 were as a guide to electing directors.

Alan
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