Versant Power customers oppose rate hike proposal
BANGOR, Maine (WABI) -Dozens of Versant Power customers from as far as Machias voiced their concerns with a proposed distribution rate increase before the Maine Public Utilities Commission in Bangor Tuesday night.
In October, Versant Power petitioned the commission for the increase citing the need for infrastructure investments, including smart meter upgrades and tree management.
Depending on average electricity usage, Versant Power residential customers could see their bill increase between $12 to $24 a month.
Customers said the rates they pay are already too high - one said he had to cut his oil deliveries in half to pay his electric.
Others criticized customer service and what they called a lack of justification from Versant for the rate hike.
”Most of us regular people - and I’m retired, fighting cancer, on a fixed income - we can’t afford anything else,” one customer said.
“We need to make some really important investments to make sure our service remains safe and reliable for our customers,” Versant Power Vice President of Customer Operations Kendra Overlock said. “More than ever, customers working at home and relying on power that stays on 24/7.”
“What does that mean? How much is that going to cost? When is that going to happen? That, to me, is not definitive,” another customer said.
If approved, the rate increase would go into effect in July.
Anyone interested can find information and testimony online at maine.gov/mpuc.
Copyright 2023 WABI. All rights reserved.