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Maine PUC approves rate hikes for electricity, natural gas utilities

An electricity meter on a house in Cambridge.
Robin Lubbock/WBUR
An electricity meter on a house in Cambridge, Mass., in Sept. 2022.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission today approved rate increases for customers of Central Maine Power and Versant, and Summit Natural Gas.

The electricity rate increases are for so-called stranded costs, which include those associated with the controversial net energy billing program that supports solar projects.

Starting July 1, the rate increases will be about $9 per month for CMP customers, and nearly $13 for Versant's Bangor Hydro District customers, and $8 for Versant's Maine Public District customers. These increases come atop those recently approved by the commission, which will cost about $5 per month over the next two years for CMP customers, and about $10 per month for Versant customers.

PUC chair Phil Bartlett noted that the numbers are adding up.

"The timing of this increase is understandably challenging for customers as they face high electricity supply costs," Bartlett said, "as well as higher costs in other areas of the economy."

The commission also approved a 33% distribution-rate increase for customers of Summit Natural Gas.

Corrected: June 15, 2023 at 3:55 PM EDT
An earlier version of this story contained incorrect rate increases.
Murray Carpenter is Maine Public’s climate reporter, covering climate change and other environmental news.