Fact or Fiction: The Myths of Alternative Electricity Supply

1. PSNH will not fix my power lines during an outage because I’m with a different supplier. Myth

         PSNH line workers do not know who is with a supplier and who isn’t.  In fact, because PSNH is not allowed to profit off of the supply portion of your bill, they have a more vested interest in turning your power back on, or they don’t make any money.  Also, if you have a priority listing (i.e. someone uses oxygen, near a hospital, etc.) that WILL NOT CHANGE, regardless of remaining with them or switching to a new supplier.

2. The Utility cannot shut off my power if I haven’t paid my bill, and I’m with an alternative supplier. MYTH

      The utility is the billing agent and is responsible for collecting and disbursing payments.  Alternative suppliers do NOT have the power to shut off  your electricity.  You can be dropped from a supplier for non-payment (most have a 30 written notice policy) but only your Utility has the power to shut off your electricity.

3. I can’t avoid a shut off notice by switching to an alternative supplier. FACT

    As explained above, your Utility is the only agent with the ability to shut off your power for non-payment.  Therefore, if you have a shut off notice, switching to an alternative supplier cannot turn your power back on or keep it on.  You’ll need to call your utility to arrange payment options in order to avoid the Service Reconnect fee associated with a shut off notice.

4.  If I switch to a supplier today, my bill will reflect the switch immediately. MYTH

   Switching to a supplier is a bit of a process actually.  To begin, the NH Public Utilities Commission requires that all Alternative Suppliers wait a minimum of 3 Business days (if the terms and conditions are sent electronically) or 5 Business days via USPS for a period called the OPT OUT PERIOD.  In doing so, newly enrolled customers have time to read the Terms and Conditions and cancel without penalty if they so wish.  In addition, your account can only be switched to a supplier on a meter read date, so if you’re looking to switch, most alternative suppliers offer a timeline for the switch to be made.  Typically, the timeline is 1 to 2 billing cycles or 2 to 3 billing cycles.

 

 

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