Readers have been quick to jump all over Central Maine Power over the sharp increase in their electricity costs this year, but perhaps they should look more closely at their monthly invoices, particularly the charges by the provider that they selected.

In my own case, year-to-date through April, CMP’s delivery charge is up 19 percent while my usage is up 17 percent. Usage is up because we had a very cold winter in comparison to a more mild winter a year ago. However, the charges for the electricity supplied by my provider, Mega Energy of Maine, have increased by an astonishing 30 percent. Clearly, my cost increase is more because of the provider that I selected several years ago, not CMP, and Mega Energy can expect my call to discuss this soon.

When I first moved to Maine several years ago, I bought in to one provider’s offer of a $100 gift card for selecting their service, which, in addition, offered a very competitive rate.

After a year, I began to notice steady increases in my cost per kilowatt-hour, and I called the company to inquire as to what was driving this increase, only to learn that I was on a schedule to have my rate increase by 50 percent over the next six months. I switched providers, but it is worth noting that the previous provider recently settled a class action suit over its marketing and pricing tactics.

Michael A. Smith

Wells