January 24

Most Central Maine Power customers to see 10 percent rate increase

Maine’s public advocate says ‘it won’t be the last’ increase ratepayers see.

By Dennis Hoey dhoey@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Customers of Central Maine Power Co. will see an increase in their electricity bills beginning March 1 because of new prices set by state regulators this week for standard-offer customers of CMP and Emera Maine.

Standard offer service is the electricity provided by CMP and Emera Maine – formerly Bangor Hydro Electric Co. – to all consumers who don’t choose a competitive provider. Most customers pay the standard offer rate.

Maine Public Advocate Timothy Schneider said a typical homeowner or small business owner, who uses 550 kilowatt hours a month, will pay $4.04 more on their monthly CMP bill because of the 10.8 percent increase approved by the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

The customer’s monthly bill for electricity will go from $37.54 to $41.58, said Schneider.

CMP’s new standard offer price of 7.56 cents per kilowatt hour for residential and small business customers applies only to the energy supply portion of those customers’ monthly bills, not to the delivery cost.

For customers of Emera Maine, in much of eastern and northern Maine, the new standard offer price will be 7.58 cents per kilowatt hour, a 13.2 increase over the current price.

“These are significant increases for Maine ratepayers and I suspect it won’t be the last one they see,” Schneider said. “The underlying forces that are driving this are going to get worse, not better.”

Rising wholesale gas prices were cited Wednesday when the PUC approved the price increases.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

dhoey@pressherald.com

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