AUGUSTA — Maine utility regulators say electric prices for many residents and small businesses will decrease by 6 percent.

The Public Utilities Commission says the annual auction among companies offering a standard price triggered vigorous competition among multiple bidders. Customers who don’t choose a specific supplier pay the standard offer.

The overall standard offer prices for residential and small commercial classes are 8.25 cents and 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour respectively for customers in the service territories of Bangor Hydro-Electric and Central Maine Power.

PUC Chair Jack Cashman says overall standard offer energy prices will be reduced by 6 percent for Maine residents and small businesses in those two service territories. The new rates will be in effect for one year beginning March 1, 2011.

The bid prices reflect relatively low prices for natural gas.