Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Orders
Salem is a municipality duly established and existing under New Hampshire law, RSA Chapter 31, which owns and operates a public water system providing service in Salem. Pennichuck East Utility Inc. (PEU) is a water utility regulated by the Commission in accord with RSA 362:2 and 362:4. It is a subsidiary of Pennichuck Corporation, which is owned by the City of Nashua. PEU's authority to provide water service in Windham stems from Order Number 17,597 in Docket Number DE 85-39. Windham is a municipality duly established and existing under New Hampshire law, RSA Chapter 31, which does not own or operate a public water system.
Pursuant to RSA 374:30, "[a]ny public utility may transfer or lease its franchise, works or system, or any part of such franchise, works or system, exercised or located in this state…when the commission shall find it will be for the public good and shall make an order assenting thereto, but not otherwise." In determining whether a proposed franchise transfer is for the public good, the Commission assesses, among other things, the managerial, financial and technical expertise of the acquiring party.
A hearing was held at the Public Utility Commission (PUC) on September 27, 2021, regarding DW 20-080, Pennichuck East Utility Inc. (PEU), petition to transfer Service Territory and Assets to the Town of Salem per Order Number 26,509, August 16, 2021. A request was submitted by a Petitioner regarding the franchise area and the expansion thereof if applicable. The PUC have determined at this time, upon hearing all testimony, to terminate the suspension of its earlier Order Nisi, 26,509, approving PEU's transfer to the Town of Salem a portion of its franchise, together with certain PEU assets located in the Town of Windham, granting Salem's request to provide water service in that limited area of Windham, and granting Salem an exemption from public utility status and from Commission rate regulation for its proposed water service outside its municipal boundaries. Now comes Order 26,545 - Order Implementing Prior Order Nisi 26,509, Approving the Transfer of Service Territory and Assets and Commencement of Business.