Electricity prices for larger commercial and industrial customers of Central Maine Power Co. and Bangor Hydro Electric Co. are set to decrease 10% from March, according to the Maine Public Utilities Commission. The decrease is for customers who use the standard-offer service.
The commission last week set standard-offer service prices for April, which are also 25%-35% below April 2011's prices. The standard-offer rates are set based on an energy market index and reflect continued low prices in wholesale power and natural gas markets. Prices in April are 3.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for CMP customers and 3.1 cents per kilowatt-hour for BHE customers. Commission Chairman Thomas Welch said the number of large commercial and industrial customers taking standard-offer prices is relatively small, at 5%, since many buy their energy directly in the retail market.
The commission also recently revised the structure of standard-offer service for large commercial and industrial customers to attract more competition from suppliers and more reasonable prices. Under the new structure, customers pay a two-part price made up of an energy charge, which is based on a wholesale power market index, and a capacity charge, based on each customer's peak usage.