I do not know if a Maine electric utility owned by consumers is a good idea or not, but I do think there is plenty of room for improvement. My concern is not with billing or the rate charged, but with reliability.

In a period of 12 months, we have lost power 13 times. Some of these have been brief, a few hours, but two of them went into three days. This is more than a minor inconvenience.

We built a small, efficient home that is heated by heat pumps, and everything is powered by “clean electricity.” By Day Three of a power outage, with no heat, no water, no cooking and no lights, you start to question the way your power company is operated.

Most of these outages have occurred on sunny, calm days. When the power goes out you also lose the cable, internet and phone. You cannot work or communicate. We live in an area with poor cellphone signals, so we have to drive to the state highway to report yet another power outage. The only explanation offered to us is that Maine is a heavily forested state.

New Hampshire also has trees, but when we walk along our road into New Hampshire, we usually discover the lights are on. Our neighbors tell us that there have always been outages, but they are more frequent now. We are ready to try a different way. We know how we will vote if we have the opportunity.

Kevin Mowry

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