Advocate recommends $1 million fine for electricity provider

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The Maine office of the public advocate is recommending that the Maine Public Utilities Commission impose a $1 million civil penalty against Electricity Maine.

The competitive electricity supplier is being accused of recent deceptive marketing practices.

In addition to the fine, the public advocate recommends that Electricity Maine have its license to operate suspended for one year.

The public advocate reportedly received more than 70 complaints about fraudulent or deceptive marketing tactics by Electricity Maine sales agents going door to door from November 2017 to July 2018.

Officials said some of the sales agents posed as Central Maine Power auditors or claimed to be CMP employees.

Others said they were from Electricity Maine but promised lower bills despite Electricity Maine's rates being higher than competitors and the standard offer.

And even after a warning letter was sent by the Maine Public's General Counsel, the deceptive practices continued, according to Maine's public advocate.