PUC announces new rate increases for Versant and CMP customers

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 5:31 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Most Central Maine Power customers will see another significant increase in their bill starting next year.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission announced Wednesday the standard offer supply rate for CMP residential customers will go up 49% in 2023.

Chairman Philip Bartlett says that adds up to about $32 more a month for the average customer.

The PUC also announced a 25% increase in standard offer prices for Versant Power’s Maine Public District.

That would be an extra $19 a month.

These decisions come one day after the PUC announced a 40% supply rate increase for Versant Power customers in the Bangor Hydro District.

Bartlett said: “This is significant. I think it is important to recognize that this is the result of volatile fossil fuel prices and international conditions that are beyond anyone’s control. Over time it continues to be our expectation that as we bring more renewables on and reduce the influence of natural gas on prices on the margin, more hours of the day and more weeks of the year, that we can reduce the volatility and have some offsetting downward pressure on prices.”

Bartlett says the supply portion is about 60% of a total utility bill.

The other 40% is delivery rates.

He said both CMP and Versant are seeking delivery rate increases that would take effect summer.

Governor Mills released a statement after Wednesdays PUC meeting, saying in part:

“The standard offer prices accepted by the PUC are the direct result of Maine’s overreliance on fossil fuels, particularly natural gas, and the unprecedented volatility in global energy markets since the Russian invasion of Ukraine... I have directed my Administration to examine every solution possible to this crisis, and we will be preparing a proposal for the Legislature’s consideration next month to help Maine people with the significant hardship caused by high energy prices this winter.”