Maine Public Utilities Commission
Public Utilities Commission
242 State Street
Augusta, Maine 04333-0018
Website: http://www.state.me.us/mpuc/, Email: email@example.com
CONTACT: Phillip Lindley, 207.287.1598, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2004
Electric Standard Offer
Prices Increase For
Commercial and Industrial Customers
Reflects Recent Energy Market Price Conditions
AUGUSTA, MAINE – Today, January 21, 2004, the Maine PUC accepted bids for new standard offer energy prices for medium and large commercial and industrial customers in the service territories of Central Maine Power Company (CMP) and Bangor Hydro-Electric Company (BHE), for the period March 1, 2004, through August, 2004. On average, the new prices are from one-half to three-quarters of a cent/kWh above standard offer prices for the current six-month term ending February 28, 2004. The new standard offer prices for CMP commercial and industrial customers are, on average over the 6-month period, about 6.33 cents/kWh for the medium class and about 6.36 cents/kWh for large class. For BHE customers the prices are, on average, 6.19 cents/kWh for the medium class and 5.88 cents/kWh for the large class. The names of the suppliers 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 today were issued in November 2003, seeking prices for six-month or one year terms. The Commission selected six-month terms for both CMP and BHE territories and both customer classes to allow standard offer prices to track market changes. The shorter term will also allow competitive electric providers to compete by offering customers longer terms with price stability.
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, approximately 40% of the load of customers in the combined CMP and BHE medium and large classes receive standard offer service; the remaining customers receive their energy supply from competitive providers. Residential and small commercial customers in CMP and BHE territory are unaffected by today's decision: those customers will continue to receive standard offer generation service at the current rate of 4.95 cents/kWh for CMP customers and 5.0 cents/kWh for BHE customers through February of 2005.
“We recognize that any price increase is a hardship to consumers,” said Tom Welch, chairman of the Commission. “These increases are almost certainly the result of the much higher natural gas prices that we have seen recently, because natural gas is used to produce much of the electricity in Maine and throughout New England. We encourage customers who seek price certainty over a longer period than is available from the standard offer to obtain longer term contracts that may be available in the competitive market.”
For more information:
Standard Offer Rates:
All PUC News Releases may be found on our website at: http://www.state.me.us/mpuc/newsreleases2003.htm
To arrange an interview with Chairman Welch or Commissioners Nugent or Diamond, please contact Phillip Lindley at 207.287.1598 or by e-mail at email@example.com. The Commission’s website may be accessed through the Maine School and Library Network at all public libraries in Maine.