Pine Tree Power, like other municipal and cooperative electric utilities here and across the country, would exist to serve Maine people. Pine Tree Power would invest in renewable energy, increased reliability and improved customer service, because this is what Maine people want.

In contrast, investor-owned utilities exist primarily to deliver profits to shareholders. They make their highest return on building big physical assets like transmission lines. Therefore, their incentive is to build big things, whether or not those things benefit ratepayers or local communities. The Hydro-Quebec transmission corridor is a good example – very profitable for Central Maine Power, but with minimal benefit to Maine ratepayers.


Our current grid was built for centralized oil and gas-fired generation, at large generating plants. Power is distributed from these central plants through a “hub and spokes” system of transmission lines.

In contrast, renewable energy is widespread. This calls for a “distributed energy” system that connects wind and solar projects from across the state to the grid. The grid of the future calls for more local and faster interconnections, and new transmission lines to connect renewable power to the grid.



Upgrading our grid to accommodate renewable energy will cost money – an estimated $5 billion over the next 30 years, according to energy experts. But Pine Tree Power can deliver these benefits at much lower cost than our current investor-owned utilities.

Specifically, Pine Tree Power can invest in the grid at municipal bond rates of 2% to 4%, where CMP and Versant Power must invest using a combination of corporate debt and shareholder equity with financing costs of 8% to 12%.

The difference in interest rates adds up to a savings of $9 billion over the next 30 years. The average Maine homeowner would save an estimated $367 every year with Pine Tree Power.


Our outdated centralized energy distribution system is inefficient. At oil and gas plants, as much as 50% of the energy generated is lost as waste heat. Moving electricity over long distances adds another 5% loss.

We now know that carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels are damaging our health and properties. And oil and gas prices have skyrocketed over the past couple of years, driving up electric rates.


Renewable energy avoids the wasted energy, high fuel costs and environmental damage from burning fossil fuels. We need to move to renewable energy as soon as possible. Pine Tree Power can help us do this more quickly and at much lower cost than our existing utilities.


Pine Tree Power changes the ownership and financing of our electric utilities, not the staffing. The law behind Pine Tree Power requires that current staff be offered continued employment, with a signing bonus to sweeten the deal. The union contract would be honored.

Pine Tree Power is an independent nonprofit organization. There is no affiliation between Pine Tree Power and our state government.

Pine Tree Power is our best bet for meeting our state’s climate goals, lowering rates and ensuring more reliable service. Please join us in voting “yes” for Pine Tree Power on Nov. 7.

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