BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Back in late March, Emera announced a definitive agreement to sell its interest in Emera Maine to Enmax, an energy company from Calgary.
Now some Mainers are concerned about what the billion-dollar price tag for the acquisition could mean for employees and electricity rates, and they spoke out at a press conference today at the University of Maine.
"Enmax has zero track record of owning and operating a utility that's thousands of miles away from them," said State Representative Rep. Seth Berry, the Energy, Utility and Technology Committee Co-Chair for Maine. " They are doing this with debt. They're paying a very high price, and they've told their bondholders who are concerned about how much debt they're taking on, that 'don't worry, we're gonna make lots of money on this.' What that means, is that they will either have to cut staffing, or that they will raise rates, or both."
Dick Rodgers of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers said, "We urge the Maine public utility commission to carefully consider the impact on the Maine workers and the Maine customers before allowing the sale to proceed."
In response, Director of Customer Service for Emera Maine, Kendra Overlock said "During the regulatory process, ENMA has actually made commitments around staffing levels and maintaining those. They've made commitments to keeping employees here in Maine on the ground in Maine serving our customers, and the management and decision making about how best to serve our customers will remain at the local level. And that commitment has been made publicly through the utilities commission process."
The sale is expected to be finalized by the end of the year.