Finally, a little good news about electric bills in Maine with Versant promising a drop in prices.

Weren't Rates Going Up Not Too Long Ago?

It's been an expensive few years, with the prices of everything going up. This includes our electrical bills, which seemed to have experienced rate hikes over and over until we were all wondering if they would ever go down again. Well, the folks at Versant say that day is here. Or it will be soon.

How Much Will We Save?

Versant Power made the announcement this week that supply prices are about to go down for their customers in the Bangor Hydro District who receive Standard Offer Service. Officials say these residential and small-class customers will see a 30% decrease in their supply costs. The current rate is 15.438 cents per kilowatt hour, but that will decrease to 10.763 cents per kWh, starting on January 1st.

That sounds good, but what does it mean in real dollars? A reduction of about $23 per month on a typical residential customer's bill.

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Why Does the Supply Rate Fluctuate So Much?

The standard offer rate is determined through a bid process conducted by the Maine Public Utilities Commission and is not determined by local power companies. Company officials say Versant Power does not generate this electricity and does not make a profit from it, but they are required to bill for it as a 'direct pass-through' to their customers. The company's job is to maintain the poles, wires, substations, and other equipment in order to ensure safe, reliable service to its customers.

Because electricity supply is a competitive market, standard offer prices can fluctuate, depending on market conditions and bids received. Maine customers have the option to choose who provides their electricity supply.

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