Committee votes to approve bill to create consumer-owned utility in Maine

The bill would replace Central Maine Power and Versant Power and create a new utility
Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 1:20 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - The Energy, Utility, and Technology Committee approved a bill Friday that aims to replace Central Maine Power and Versant Power with a consumer-owned utility.

The committee voted 8-1 in favor of sending the proposal to create a Maine Power Delivery Authority to the full legislature.

The bill’s supporters say it could save roughly $9 billion for Maine in the first 30 years. However, Central Maine Power’s executive chairman, David Flanagan, issued a statement saying there are too many unknowns about the costs and benefits of this proposal.

“The climate crisis isn’t going away, the importance of our utilities isn’t going away, it’s only getting bigger. And I think it’s obvious to anyone paying attention that this pandemic has only highlighted those issues and has only made concerns about energy cost burdens more important, not less,” Representative Seth Berry said.

The bill proposes the formation of an expert task force that would work on a transitional plan for the new utility.

Berry says the utility would operate in a similar manner to Kennebunk Light and Power, Madison Electric Works, and Eastern Maine Electric Cooperative.

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