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Central Maine Power Customers Will See A Double-Digit Rate Increase Next Month

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

Central Maine Power customers will see more than an 11% increase in their bills, starting next month, which will cost the typical residential ratepayer more than $100 a year. The Maine Public Utilities Commission approved the increase Wednesday.

The regulators emphasized that most of the increase is due to federal actions, including a hike in the amount of money all New England ratepayers must contribute to finance the regional grid. CMP says that decision is having an outsized effect on its customers because, while New England as a whole has decreased its electricity usage in recent years, CMP's customers have actually increased theirs.

Although it's the biggest electricity bill increase in recent memory, the costs of last year's storm recovery could have made it worse. But state regulators agreed to CMP's proposal to spread consumers' share of that $70 million expense over two years.

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.