May 26, 2022
Governor Mills asks Central Maine Power not to file the rate application; says that if they do, she will order the Energy Board to intervene in the opposition and that the PUC should reject it
Governor Janet Mills and Public Advocate Bill Harwood today announced their opposition to Central Maine’s Power (CMP) Notice of Intent to seek a rate increase. In its notice, the utility says it will seek a three-year rate increase that will result in an increase of about $10 per month for the average Maine residential ratepayer, phased in at the end of 2023. CMP’s announcement comes at a record time – high electricity rates – driven by global volatility in energy markets and New England’s reliance on natural gas – which are now hurting families and businesses around the world. Maine.
“Maineans are already saddled with exorbitant costs due to record inflation, including high electricity rates resulting from New England’s reliance on expensive and harmful fossil fuels. For CMP to say they want to pile additional costs on the people of Maine adds insult to injury. It’s outrageous,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I call on the CMP not to file this request. If they do it recklessly, I will ask my energy office to intervene in the case to oppose it, and I will call on the Maine Public Utilities Commission to dismiss it so that Maine sends the clear message to our public services that they must focus on improving performance, reducing costs and restoring confidence. There is simply no way that increasing people’s electricity bills right now can be considered fair and reasonable. I will fight this.
“Any increase in electricity rates at this time represents an unwelcome additional financial burden on Maine ratepayers, for whom the cost of almost every other necessity is rising,” said William Harwood, Public Defender of Maine. “My office will carefully review the details of CMP’s application to identify any underlying costs that are irrelevant and will make an alternative recommendation to the Public Utilities Commission consistent with the legal requirement that CMP’s tariffs must be “fair and reasonable” and prioritize the welfare of Maine ratepayers.
Helping Maine residents cope with rising fuel oil and electricity prices due to volatile global fossil fuel markets is a priority for the Mills administration. To date, the administration has taken several important steps, including:
Following bipartisan legislation signed by Governor Mills in 2019, Maine has also advanced competitive renewable energy purchases that have resulted in low-cost, local renewable energy projects that will lower costs to ratepayers across the country. Maine. In addition, Governor Mills this month signed landmark legislation to significantly reform the state’s approach to public service oversight. This legislation, LD 1959, establishes minimum service standards for service, increases penalties for substandard service, and strengthens utility accountability to protect the people of Maine.