Central Maine Power is requesting another rate increase, with a plan to break up the additional charges over three years.

How Would the Increase Impact Customers' Bills?

The increase in May of this year was not dictated by CMP, but rather by the suppliers of Maine's electricity. Versant had a similar increase, with both companies stating that the higher prices of natural gas fueled the hike.

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Earlier this month, Versant announced its intention to request a rate increase, this time in its distribution rate. Now, Central Maine Power has announced its intention to do the same. CMP President and CEO, Joseph Purington says he understands that energy prices are already challenging right now.

Our goal is to invest in the system to improve reliability for customers and minimize outage impacts when they occur. At the same time, we want to keep the CMP portion of our customers' energy wallets, which does not include electricity supply costs, predictable over the next few years.

CMP plans to divide the increase into three portions and add it to customers' bills over a 3-year period. The rate structure would add approximately $5.00 per month to the average residential customer's bill in the first year, $2.78 in the second year, and $2.33 in the third year.

What Improvements Would the Increase Help to Fund?

Purington says the increase would help to fund improvements to the grid and invest in clean energy, in a number of ways:

  • Replacing aging poles with larger, more durable poles and replacing bare wires with covered wire - both of which will withstand Maine weather and falling trees and limbs more effectively.
  • Reducing the number of customers impacted by each outage through the ongoing installation of automated switches, which would allow the company to have more complete system knowledge, manage power outages remotely, and reduce maintenance expenses.
  • Meeting customer needs for more digital tools to understand and manage energy usage and accounts, and to receive power usage updates and storm outage information electronically.
  • Continuing to ensure safe and early storm response by staging the contractor personnel needed in a regional environment that competes for contractors for storm support.
  • Transforming the grid to better enable the interconnection of solar, storage, and other renewable energy resources needed for Maine's clean energy future.
  • Proposing new rate structures that will advance the deployment of heat pumps and electric vehicles.

What is Governor Mills' Response to the Rate Increase Request?

As with the Versant request, Governor Mills has voiced opposition to CMP's bid for a rate increase.

While improving our electric system is critical to ensuring a strong grid, the timing of these costs must be balanced against the high costs - including already high energy prices - that are hurting Maine people and businesses right now.

Mills says she believes the request is not in the best interests of Mainers and that her administration will oppose it.

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