This year, Central Maine Power and Versant Power have both announced plans to increase rates in 2023. It’s yet another blow to Mainers. They cite rising costs as the reason. Even in a time of record corporate profits, we the consumers are “asked” to make up the difference.

By now, you might have heard about the citizen initiative to create the Pine Tree Power Co. If it gets on the ballot and passes in November 2023, it will set up a consumer-owned utility to replace CMP and Versant as Maine’s electric utility. Consumer-owned utilities are run by an elected board, working closely with experts to deliver efficient service. Even better, our consumer-owned utility would be owned by the residents of Maine.

Despite what CMP-funded initiatives contend, switching to a public utility won’t happen on the taxpayers’ dime; in fact, ratepayers stand to save more than $9 billion over the next 30 years. Pine Tree Power will be built and staffed by current CMP and Versant workers, and they’ll keep their union contracts.

A consumer-owned utility will empower Mainers to be a part of the process. We’ll elect representatives, participate in meetings and guide our sustainable energy future. We’ll stop investing in comfortable futures for faceless shareholders and start investing in ourselves. A consumer-owned utility is our best way to ensure our financial security, our climate and our future generations.

Statewide, volunteers are spreading the word and getting out the vote; visit to review the complete initiative, ask questions and join the Pine Tree Power movement.

Austin Sims

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