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November 9, 2017

PUC sets standard offer electricity rates for CMP, Emera Maine

About standard offer service

Electricity customers in Maine receive standard offer service if they have not purchased supply from another retail supplier or through an aggregator. Maine law requires the Public Utilities Commission to ensure that standard offer service for electricity supply is available to all customers in Maine. The PUC, which regulates electric, telephone, water and gas utilities in Maine, arranges for standard offer service through periodic competitive bid processes. For more information on standard offer service prices, go here.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission this week set new prices for standard offer electricity provided by Central Maine Power and Emera Maine/Bangor Hydro District to customers receiving that service.

The new prices are effective for a 12-month term beginning Jan. 1, 2018, and only apply to standard offer service, which reflects about 50% of the sales in CMP's service area and 60% in Emera Maine's area. The prices do not apply to customers that purchase their own electricity supply in the market.

Here are CMP’s new rates

For CMP residential and small business customers who receive standard offer supply service, the accepted bids result in a new standard offer price of 7.921 cents/kWh, which is an 18% increase compared to the supply price in 2017. Looking at the total residential bill combining supply and delivery service, an average residential customer could expect to see an increase of about 8% in their monthly bill, the PUC stated in a news release.

For CMP medium business customers, the new prices differ by month, equating to about 8.298 cents/kWh on average over the year, varying from 6.6 cents/kWh in May to 11.6 cents/kWh in February. These medium class prices are about 21% higher than prices last year.

Prices for large business customers will be indexed to market prices and set in advance of each month, as was done last year for large business standard offer service.

Here are Emera Maine’s new rates

Residential and small business customers of Emera Maine – Bangor Hydro District who receive standard offer supply service will see new prices on Jan. 1 equating to 7.2 cents/kWh, which is a 14% increase compared to the supply price during 2017. Looking at the total residential bill combining supply and delivery service, an average residential customer could expect to see an increase of about 5% in their monthly bill.

For Emera Maine medium business customers, the new prices differ by month, equating to 8.1 cents/kWh on an annual average basis, varying from 6.4 cents/kWh in May 2018 to 11.2 cents/kWh in February 2018. These medium class prices are about 21% higher than prices during the same twelve month period last year.

Similar to CMP, prices for large business customers will be indexed to market prices and set in advance of each month, as was done last year for large business standard offer service.

"The standard offer prices set this week reflect the best bids received from a competitive auction process," according to Commission Chairman Mark Vannoy. "As with the Emera auction yesterday, the price increases for this CMP auction are primarily driven by the increase in capacity market clearing prices in New England. The capacity cost increases in the New England regional wholesale market were set in an auction conducted by ISO-NE three years ago. The higher prices result from the need for new generating plants to replace plants that were retiring."

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