Versant Power is replacing its electricity meters on Maine homes and businesses, to replace the current ones.

Who Will Get a New Meter and Why Do We Need It?

The old meters are being replaced because they're, well, old. A media release from Versant Power said the current metering system is reaching the end of its useful life and so the equipment needs to be upgraded. This new metering system will help Versant provide timely detailed information to customers about their electricity usage. Plus, it will help the utility identify power outages and power issues more quickly, which is great news for Mainers, especially during the winter months. In addition, it will make it easier for Versant Power to connect or disconnect your meter remotely.

Residential customers will receive the new meters, as well as small and medium commercial customers, over the course of the year. Spokesperson Judy Long tells us the current plan is to start installations in Bangor in the next couple of months. Of course, like all things, that plan is subject to change. A letter will go out to customers about 30 days before the planned meter replacements in their area, and they will also receive a phone call about seven days before the new meter is installed.

Will I Be Waiting All Day for the Technician to Show Up?

You will not have to be home for the installation process, as long as utility workers have safe and clear access to the meter. Versant officials ask that residents remove any barriers that could prevent the meter exchange. If you're home, the technician will knock on the door before starting any work on your property. Each installer will be clearly identified with Aclara and/or Versant Power logos on their uniforms, badges, and trucks. In most cases, the whole process should only take about 10 minutes, during which time your electricity will be briefly interrupted. If you're not home, a door hanger will be left behind, letting you know that your new meter was successfully installed.

Is This Going To Cost Me More Money?

There will be no surcharge for the installation of a new meter unless you choose to receive a non-communicating meter that would have to read manually.

Anyone with questions or concerns can find more information on the Versant Power website or can call the Customer Contact Center at 1-855-363-7211 or 207-973-2000.

In November, the Maine Public Utility Commission ruled in favor of an 88% increase in the supply rate for Versant Power customers. That increase, which officials said would average about $30 per customer, went into effect this month.

It's worth noting that while customers will see the increase in the supply rate on their Versant bills, that increase does not go to Versant, which does not supply electricity. Versant's rates apply only to the transmission and distribution of power.

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