It’s too bad that a consumer-owned electric company in Maine can’t replace Central Maine Power – soon.

As we have recently learned, the signatures necessary for a ballot referendum in November have fallen short of the approximately 65,000 needed. We also knew a rate increase for CMP was pending.

My most recent bill is an example of why we should be outraged at CMP with its rate increases filling the pockets of private investors. The bill I received today (Jan. 22) shows that I used 543 kilowatt-hours, at a cost of $114.18.

To compare similar bills, in May 2020, 542 kWh cost $87.72. In July 2020, 547 kWh cost $90.03; in April 2021, 539 kWh cost $85.13, and in December 2021, 537 kWh cost $94.44. The $25-plus increase, from May 2020 to now, for the same kilowatt-hours, represents an increase of about 33 percent.

I can’t know for certainty that a consumer-owned utility wouldn’t have the same steep increase, but I do know I would rather keep the money local than sending it to a multinational company. Let’s hope signatures can be collected in time for a vote on a consumer-owned company in 2023.

Lois Kilby-Chesley

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