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Business and Economy

Maine Public Advocate Wants Closer Consideration Of CMP Cases Amid Rate Hike Request

Lori Valigra
Bangor Daily News

Public advocate Barry Hobbins addressed members of the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee about CMP as the utility asks for a rate increase. He said that CMP ratepayers deserve a delay in consideration of multiple cases that could affect their bills so regulators can consider all factors before setting rates.

Hobbins says in addition to a $46 million rate increase request, there are other cases including service quality and billing issues and transmission line requests that could affect what you pay to get electricity to your home or business.

“Just admit to us you’ve got problems and you don’t know how to resolve them. But from Day One, our problem is, they’ve never admitted it. They have never admitted there is a problem,” he says.

Hobbins says regulators could decide some of CMP’s actions have been imprudent. That would mean stockholders need to pay part of the costs of fixing the problems, and there may be a legitimate need for some expenditures that warrant an increase.

Public Utilities Commission Chairman Phil Bartlett hinted some sort of delay is likely.