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CMP customers will see rate hikes next year

In this Tuesday, May 28, 2019 photo, power lines converge on a Central Maine Power substation in Pownal, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP
In this Tuesday, May 28, 2019 photo, power lines converge on a Central Maine Power substation in Pownal, Maine.

Mainers can expect big increases in their electricity bills next year, the Maine Public Utilities Commission announced Wednesday, and natural gas prices are to blame.

The PUC announced new electricity supply rates for customers served by Central Maine Power and Versant Power's Maine Public District.

The rates apply to the "standard offer," which most Mainers purchase. PUC Chair Phil Bartlett said residential customers can expect a significant rate increase.

"CMP customers will have about a 49 percent increase in the supply portion of their bill, Which translates to about a 26 percent increase in their total bill," Bartlett said.

Bartlett said the increases are driven by global natural gas prices, and will cost the average CMP customer an additional $32 per month.

And bills could go even higher next year. Bartlett said both CMP and Versant have also requested increases for the delivery portion of the electrical rates, which could take effect next summer.

Murray Carpenter is Maine Public’s climate reporter, covering climate change and other environmental news.