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Maine Public Utilities Commission

NEWS RELEASE 

Maine Public Utilities Commission
242 State Street
Augusta, Maine 04333-0018
Website: http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/, Email: maine.puc@maine.gov
CONTACT: Phillip Lindley, 207.287.1598, phil.lindley@maine.gov

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 4, 2003

Electric Standard Offer Prices Decrease For Residential &
Small Commercial MPS Customers In Northern Maine

Reflects Recent Energy Market Price Conditions

AUGUSTA, MAINE – Yesterday, November 3, 2003, the Maine PUC accepted bids for new standard offer energy service and set new prices for all three customer classes in the Maine Public Service Company (MPS) service territory for a 34-month period beginning March 1, 2004 (through December 2006).  The price for standard offer service for this period will be 5.459˘/kWh for residential and small commercial customers, 5.81˘/kWh for medium commercial customers and 6.4˘/kWh for large commercial and industrial customers.  This is good news for the first two customer classes as the new prices are, on average, 1% to 6% below standard offer prices for the current term ending February 28, 2004.  For the large commercial and industrial class the price change is an increase of 2.4%, although, at present more than 99% of the load in that class receives electric service in the competitive market and does not pay standard offer prices.  The names of the supplier(s) chosen to provide the standard offer service will be released after a two-week period to allow supply arrangements to be completed. 

Under Maine’s retail electric access rules, the Commission must ensure that standard offer service is available to all customers in the State.  Maine’s rules require that the Commission solicit suppliers to provide standard offer service through a competitive bid process.  

The RFPs that resulted in the bids accepted yesterday were issued in September, seeking prices for a 1-year term or for a 34-month term.  The Commission selected the 34-month term because it coincides with the remaining term on the MPS/Wheelabrator-Sherman QF (qualifying facility) contract, the output of which was being sold in conjunction with the standard offer RFP.  The 34-month term will provide longer-term stability for standard offer prices and protect customers from the impact of substantial energy price increases during this period.  The Commission considers the benefits of longer term stability through standard offer prices to be important in the MPS service territory because of the unique problems created by Northern Maine’s lack of a direct interconnection with the rest of the New England retail electricity market.

Standard offer service is the default supply for electricity customers, which means that customers receive it only if they have not purchased supply from a competitive provider on their own or through an aggregator.  Currently, nearly half of the load required by customers in the MPS service territory is provided by standard offer service; the remaining customers receive their energy supply from competitive providers.  The MPS service territory includes more than 36,000 customers in northern Maine.

“We are pleased with the competitiveness of the bid prices, which continue to be in line with current market conditions,” said Tom Welch, Chairman of the Commission, “these bids also provide long-term stability and certainty of electricity prices.”

 

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For more information:  See Docket Numbers 2003-670 and 2003-677 (http://mpuc.informe.org/)

All PUC News Releases may be found on our website at: http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/newsreleases2003.htm 

To arrange an interview with Chairman Welch or Commissioners Diamond or Reishus, please contact Phillip Lindley at 207.287.1598 or by e-mail at phil.lindley@maine.gov.  The Commission’s website may be accessed through the Maine School and Library Network at all public libraries in Maine.