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How is Natural Gas Service for Residential Customers regulated?
While residential natural gas consumers in some states may choose who supplies their natural gas, in Maine natural gas supply and distribution service for residential customers is a monopoly service and these customers receive both their natural gas supply and distribution service from their local gas utility.
The Commission regulates the rates and service quality of Maine’s local natural gas utilities. The rate for the natural gas supply is adjusted each season to reflect changes in the underlying cost of natural gas. Service quality is regulated using a variety of methods. For example, the Commission requires Northern Utilities to follow a service quality plan with performance targets in all areas where the utility interacts with customers, e.g., meter reading, billing, contact center performance, and overall service. If Northern Utilities does not meet its service quality targets, the Commission may assess penalties based on the degree to which the service quality targets are missed.
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