Governor LePage Signs Bill to Bring Transparency to Mainer’s Electricity Bills

April 4, 2012

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul LePage signed today LD 1875 “An Act To Provide Transparency in Electricity Pricing for Maine Ratepayers.” This bill is one of the Governor’s four energy bills that were submitted this session. The bill was sponsored by Representative Stacey Fitts, of Pittsfield.

The bill requires the Maine Public Utilities Commission and the Office of the Public Advocate to post on their websites the annual costs of state policies that affect the price of electricity. The intent is to inform Maine consumers as to the total individual cost of each program that increases electricity rates that are in addition to the base energy and transmission/distribution charges. Examples of these programs include stranded costs, Efficiency Maine System Benefit Charge, Low-Income Assistance Program, etc.

This legislation also requires the Maine Public Utilities Commission to inform ratepayers that they can find the information on the Office of the Public Advocate and Maine Public Utilities Commission websites through the utilities billing process.

“It is critical that Maine people be informed about the charges on their electricity bill,” said Governor LePage. “Mainers deserve transparency, and I am proud that this law gives people the opportunity to look at what programs they are funding when they pay their electricity bill.”

In addition to providing more transparency to Mainers on their electricity bill, the legislation directs the Maine Public Utilities Commission and the Office of the Public Advocate to develop its budgets based on a “zero-based budgeting process” approach. This is consistent with Governor LePage’s directive to other state agencies, and allows the costs and benefits of each program to be assessed based on the output value.

Other public laws signed by the Governor on April 4, 2012 include:

An Act To Establish a Dental Adjudicatory Panel System
S.P. 301 – L.D. 955

An Act To Impose a Penalty for Making False Claims Regarding Affiliation with a Federally Recognized Tribe
H.P. 1201 – L.D. 1595

An Act To Resolve Conflicts in the Implementation of the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code
S.P. 529 – L.D. 1619

An Act To Expand the Availability of Natural Gas to Maine Residents (Emergency)
S.P. 543 – L.D. 1644

An Act To Restrict Further the Amount of Methamphetamine Precursors That May Be Bought or Sold
H.P. 1266 – L.D. 1714

An Act To Amend Maine’s Gambling Laws
S.P. 610 – L.D. 1771

An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Dig Safe Work Group (Emergency)
H.P. 1329 – L.D. 1803

An Act To Amend the Maine Wild Mushroom Harvesting Certification Program
H.P. 1343 – L.D. 1823

An Act To Establish Municipal Cost Components for Unorganized Territory Services To Be Rendered in Fiscal Year 2012-13 (Emergency)
H.P. 1368 – L.D. 1847

An Act To Amend the Laws Concerning Municipal Inspections of Establishments
H.P. 1369 – L.D. 1851

An Act To Clarify the Regulation of Private Natural Gas Pipelines
S.P. 660 – L.D. 1883