Roger Bergeron couldn’t understand why his monthly electric bill tripled in November 2017.

He and his wife had moved into a new house in Pittston two months earlier. Their electric bill was $79 a month in September and October, but in November, Bergeron was shocked to get a $235 monthly bill. Absolutely nothing had changed, he said.

After he spent hours on hold, a Central Maine Power billing representative suggested it might be a faulty appliance or faulty electrical wiring. No, the appliances were brand-new, as was the house. Bergeron had even hired an electrician to make sure everything had been properly installed.

It’s been cold, CMP told Bergeron. People use a lot of electricity when it’s cold. Bergeron told them he uses propane, not electricity, to heat his home, his water and even his backup generator. When it’s cold, he pays more for propane, but it shouldn’t affect his CMP bill.

You must be using those new appliances a lot more than you realize, Bergeron was told.

“At the time, both my wife and I worked in Massachusetts,” he said. “We only lived in our Pittston home on weekends, and for the rest of the week only the refrigerator was running. I told CMP all of this, but it didn’t matter. Nothing I said mattered.”

Bergeron submitted a complaint last year to the Maine Public Utilities Commission, but nothing has changed. The monthly bills fluctuate seasonally, but they have never returned to pre-spike levels. The lowest bill since the spike was $128 a month; the highest was $284.

He pays what he believes to be a ridiculously high monthly bill, on time, every time, but under protest.

“I think CMP should compensate customers for every expense we’ve incurred because of their mistakes,” Bergeron said. “It’s not just the amount we’re overbilled. It’s the time we spent on hold, the time we had to take off work, the money we spent proving their excuses wrong.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.