Central Maine Power is a state-regulated utility with a nearly unique reach — within its coverage area, it provides service to every citizen except for those few who live “off the grid” by their own choice.

That’s the principal reason it is subject to the oversight of the Public Utilities Commission and state law. Its almost universal application makes any other kind of regulation both difficult and inappropriate.

But that hasn’t stopped the city of Bath from trying to do the PUC’s job. The City Council recently voted to impose a 180-day moratorium on the installation of wireless “smart meters” on CMP customers’ homes, as authorized by the PUC.

It’s hard to see what possible rationale the city could have for that decision, as the PUC itself has permitted homeowners who say they fear the effects of electromagnetic transmissions from the meters (a fear for which there is scant scientific evidence) to keep their old devices.

True, the regulators said the power company has the right to charge a fee for maintaining and reading the old-style meters, but considering the cost savings offered by the new ones, that seems only fair. People who want a more expensive option should have the obligation of paying the extra cost that choice incurs.

CMP says it may sue to have the city implement the PUC’s decision. It would be sad for the issue to come to that, considering that a fair solution to critics’ complaints has already been implemented.