Last week, Central Maine Power Company announced that it intends to file for a rate increase. In its notice to the Public Utilities Commission, the utility says it will request a three-year rate increase that would result in an increase of roughly $10 a month for the average residential ratepayer in Maine to be phased in by late 2023.
Hello, this is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.
Look, Maine people are already struggling with sky high costs from record inflation, high electricity rates that are the result of New England’s dependance on expensive, harmful fossil fuels.
For CMP to say now they want to heap on added costs onto the backs of Maine people … well that just adds insult to injury. It is simply wrong.
I am calling on CMP not to pursue this rate hike request.
If they choose to do so, unwisely, I will direct my Energy Office to intervene in the case and oppose it vigorously, and I call upon the Maine Public Utilities Commission to reject it so that Maine sends the clear message to our utilities that their focus needs to be on improving performance, reducing cost burdens, and restoring trust.
Maine’s Public Advocate, Bill Harwood, is also standing with Maine ratepayers and has said that his Office will challenge the size of CMP’s request as well. It’s unprecedented to ask for a rate increase to cover projected costs three years from now.
There is simply no way that increasing folks’ electricity bills right now can be considered just and reasonable.
While I will fight this move by CMP, we will also continue to do everything we can to help Maine people grapple with inflation.
We’re sending more than half of the state surplus back to Maine people in the form of $850 checks. And these checks have started going out already this week, and we’ve secured a one-time utility bill credit for tens of thousands of low-income electricity customers. We’ve increased tax relief and heating cost relief for thousands of families.
We are also reducing our dependence on these volatile energy markets. We are investing in weatherization for our homes and businesses. We are leading the country in installing high efficiency heat pumps to reduce your energy costs. And, as a result of bipartisan legislation that I signed in 2019, Maine has also adopted competitive renewable energy procurements that have resulted in homegrown renewable energy projects intended to lower the costs for Maine ratepayers and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.
I will keep doing everything I can to bring down energy costs, to fight these high electricity rates, and to hold our utility companies accountable.
This is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.