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Versant Power customers could see their monthly bills rise by more than $10 a month

Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News/file

Versant Power customers could see their monthly bills rise by more than $10 a month.

The company announced on Thursday that it's planning to request the increase in its distribution rates beginning next summer, and that the average customer's bill could increase by about $10.50 per month.

Versant says the funds will help replace metering systems, improve reliability and retain employees. Spokesperson Judy Long said that the proposal is just the bare minimum the company needs to do work on the distribution system in a tight labor market, and with inflationary pressure.

"There is no fat on this, we are not asking for  new special  programs. We are just literally investing in what we need to do in order to continue maintaining and improving service," Long said.

But Gov. Janet Mills has already come out against the plan and is requesting that Versant not pursue the request. She said that improvements are important, but they must be weighed "against the already high electricity prices" for Maine customers. Maine Public Advocate Bill Harwood said that he was skeptical of the need for the increase, and his office will carefully evaluate the company's justification.

Both Harwood and Mills came out against a proposed rate increase from Central Maine Power earlier this year.

Corrected: August 5, 2022 at 8:49 AM EDT
Versant says the rate increase is the minimum needed to work on its distribution system, not transmission system.