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Electricity rates to drop in 2024 for many Mainers

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

Most Mainers will see their electrical bills drop noticeably starting in January, thanks in large part to lower natural gas prices.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission says the new standard-offer rates for customers of CMP, and Versant customers in Aroostook County, are about 30% lower than this year's.

The rates are largely driven by the price of natural gas. It accounts for about half of the power generation on the New England grid. And despite the lowered rates, Commissioner Carolyn Gilbert says that should change.

"Our prices are completely dependent on natural gas," Gilbert said. "And I'd love to see us transition off of natural gas to renewable resources."

The PUC estimates that the average residential CMP customer should save about $32 per month, while Versant's northern Maine customers should save about $18 per month. The commission announced on Tuesday that rates would also be lower for Versant customers in central and eastern Maine

The savings are in the supply portion of Mainer's electric bills. Earlier this year, the PUC approved significant rate hikes on the delivery side, for both CMP and Versant customers.

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