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Maine Utility Regulators: CMP Could Face Sanctions For Failing To Address Customer Service Issues

Robert F. Bukaty
Associated Press/file
In this Oct. 14, 2010 file photo, a new Central Maine Power "smart meter" displays electricity usage at a business in Freeport.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission's Consumer Assistance and Safety Division says Central Maine Power should immediately address a number of customer service issues.PUC spokesman Harry Lanphear says the utility has failed to issue bills to thousands of new and existing customers since it implemented its new SmartCare billing system on November 1, 2107. 

In addition, the commission says CMP has taken too long to address customer complaints, and has not been connecting customers who are behind on payments with the Efficiency Maine Trust program "so that the Trust can make recommendations on energy efficiency programs that might assist those customers," Lanphear says.

The findings are detailed in a letter that also lays out some severe enforcement actions which could be imposed if CMP fails to take action.

A Central Maine Power spokesperson says the company has received the letter, takes the issues very seriously and intends to respond.

Maine Public Advocate Barry Hobbins says, while it comes a little late, his office is pleased with the letter. At the same time, he says the commission has given CMP a lot of time to correct the problems.

"And, unfortunately, they find themselves now somewhat embarrassed or disappointed that the issues, after being over a year old, are not getting any better," Hobbins says.