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Versant to request a rate hike

A Versant Power truck is pictured in this 2020 file photo.
Nina Mahaleris
/
BDN
A Versant Power truck is pictured in this 2020 file photo. 

Versant Power is planning to request a rate increase that could add $12 per month to electric bills.

In a recent letter to the Maine Public Utilities Commission, Versant said it intends to request an increase of about $35 million in distribution rates, to cover storm restoration costs, grid maintenance, and other expenses.

Versant's Judy Long says the requested rate increase could change after review by the PUC, "but at this time we anticipate that for customers that use 500 kilowatt hours per month, the requested increase, if approved, would be about a 9% increase in the total bill, which is about $12 dollars."

Long says this includes costs incurred by the December 2022 storm, but not those from last month's high-wind and rain event, which will likely be the subject of a future request to the PUC. And she says customers will soon receive a letter detailing the request, and opportunities for the public to respond.

Public Advocate Bill Harwood says his office will closely scrutinize the rate request. Whatever the PUC decides, the increase would not take effect until next year.

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