Based on the headlines, it would be easy to think that the Maine Public Utilities Commission spends all of its time addressing issues regarding CMP. But the PUC impacts the lives of Mainers in many other ways.  It regulates electric, gas, telephone and water utilities as well as setting rates that are mandated to be just and reasonable for all ratepayers. The Chairman of the PUC and the Manager of the MPUC Customer Assistance Division join us to answer questions about the work the PUC does and the utilities they regulate.

A recent spate of minor accidents has Emera Maine warning loggers and farmers to steer clear of power lines. Emera spokeswoman Judy Long says no injuries resulted, but there extensive damage to machinery and power outages did result. but the company wants to raise awareness that farm and logging equipment

“Sometimes we have to figure out how to get equipment safely away from power lines. Which is one of the reasons we’re letting people know that if they are going to be doing work near power lines, to work with us so that we can help you do it safely,” says Long.

FILE- In this Oct. 26, 2011 file photo, wind turbines line the hillside at First Wind's project in Sheffield, Vt.
Toby Talbot / AP Photo/File

Nine states in the region, including Maine, say they will set more aggressive limits on pollution by electricity generation plants.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, is a market-based cap-and-trade program that sets limits on carbon-dioxide emissions in participating states. Power generators can buy and sell emission allowances under the program, and it produces revenues that the states largely invest in energy efficiency.

A play by Massachusetts to inject more renewable power into its electricity mix could reshape the entire region's energy landscape. Dozens of developers are competing to offer Massachusetts the best price for long-term contracts to supply clean energy to hundreds of thousands of homes. 

But many of the projects also face another challenge: convincing residents of Northern New England it's in their interest to host the Bay State's extension cord.

Fred Bever / MPBN

An epochal transformation in the way energy is made, delivered and used in the U.S. is under way, and in Maine an experiment in what’s called a “non-wires alternative” could disrupt electric utilities’ traditional business models by averting the need to build expensive new transmission infrastructure.

Electricity substation in Bridgeport, CT.
Flickr.com/rik-shaw/Creative Commons

In the previous installment, we reported on recent reductions in the cost of electricity supply in New England. But there’s another charge in your electricity bill that’s been rising steadily over the last decade.

Mike Timberlake / Flickr/Creative Commons

Gov. Paul LePage says Maine’s single biggest problem is the cost of energy. And compared to the rest of the nation, Maine and New England do struggle with higher prices for electricity.

Maine Governor Paul LePage made another public appeal for bringing more electricity from Eastern Canada down into New England.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

FALMOUTH, Maine — The Maine Audubon Society here has a new solar panel system that will help reduce energy costs, curb reliance on oil and limit carbon emissions.

It's all thanks to an unusual partnership with Moody's Collision Centers, which is paying for all 144 of the solar panels, and Revision Energy, which installed them.

Report: Maine's Solar Potential Going Untapped

May 28, 2014
Margaux Rioux

Alternative energy advocates today unveiled a national study which puts Maine's biggest city in a less-than-flattering light when it comes to the development of solar power. Environment Maine held an outdoor press conference near Portland's working waterfront, where despite wet and cloudy conditions, the message was that Maine has great solar potential.

Jay Field / MPBN

Some disappointing news came today for the deep water wind project known as Aqua Ventus. That's the pilot project led by a University of Maine development team. Aqua Ventus was competing for federal development money. But, as Jennifer Mitchell reports, the project was not selected for full funding. So now, its fate is less certain. Meanwhile, environmental advocates are still lamenting a decision they say chased away another wind developer.

Solar Storms

Jan 20, 2014

  Our panel discussed solar flares and geomagnetic storms and how they can - and do - affect life on earth - from the electric grid to satellite operations to aviation routes. And why is Maine legislature considering doing something about it.

Host Jennifer Rooks was joined by 

Rep. Andrea Boland/D-Sanford 

Tom Popik/Founder, Foundation for Resilient Societies 

Max Riseman/Meteorologist 

Dr. Peter Pry/President of EMPACT America

Wired Maine

Mar 27, 2013

  The electrification of Maine during the 20th century, and how a rural state became modern.

Host Keith Shortall was joined by:

Steve Bromage, Executive Director of the Maine Historical Society

Ernest Freeberg, distinguished professor of humanities at the Univ. of Tennessee and author of The Age of Edison - Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America