Regulators expected to decide a long-standing investigation into metering and billing issues with Central Maine Power will have another month to complete their work.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission announced Friday afternoon that it’s pushing its timeline forward a month.

The PUC staff was expected to issue a final recommendation to the commission on Monday. A parallel case involving a requested rate hike for CMP also has also been pushed to next year. The PUC staff now has until Jan. 9 to render their recommendations in both cases.

The commissioners, who take the staff’s recommendation into consideration, were expected to issue a decision on a nearly yearlong inquiry into persistent complaints about inaccurate electricity bills on Dec. 20. The deadline for that decision is now Jan. 30.

“The commission recently received additional information from customers resulting from a filing that CMP made in this case and the commission needs adequate time to thoroughly evaluate this information,” PUC Chairman  Philip L. Bartlett II said in a statement.

CMP’s billing controversy has dragged on for more than two years following the launch of a new billing system that coincided with a severe October 2017 windstorm that knocked out power to more than 400,000 homes. The utility acknowledges that more than 100,000 inaccurate bills were sent in the months that followed the launch of its SmartCare system, but has maintained that the vast majority of its billing problems have been resolved.

But customers continue to file complaints with regulators about inaccurate bills and poor customer service. A Portland Press Herald investigation found that CMP had mismanaged the rollout of the SmartCare program and misled the public.

Separate investigations by third-party auditors have reached different conclusions about the performance of the software and CMP’s performance.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. 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.