Things to Consider When Choosing a Electricity Supplier
If you are considering choosing a competitive electricity provider (CEP) for your electricity needs, here are some things you should know.
- The Standard Offer price: Purchasing electricity from a CEP may save you money, but only if its price is lower than the standard offer price. Determined by competitive auction administered by the Commission, the standard offer price changes periodically. For most customers, the price changes on January first each year (in CMP and Versant Power areas), with changes typically announced a month or more in advance. Find the current Standard Offer price here. There is no fee when you begin, return to, or leave standard offer service. There may, however, be a termination fee when leaving a CEP contract early (see item 5 below).
- The price offered by a CEP: This is the price you'll compare to the Standard Offer or a price from a different CEP. You should be sure to compare prices over the same time periods.
- Whether the price is fixed or variable: If the price is variable it may offer savings now, but could change to a higher price in future months. Please read the terms carefully before signing the contract.
- The term of the contract: If the price is fixed, find out for how long so you know if the term will last beyond the next standard offer price change. (typically January 1 each year).
- Termination Fee: Some CEPs with fixed term offerings will seek an early termination fee if you switch back to standard offer or to another CEP before the fixed term expires. Make sure you know what this fee is before enrolling.
- Read the fine print: Whether it is price information, the term of your contract with the CEP, or the CEP's method of communicating with you regarding renewal, rate changes or other matters (e.g., e-mail, phone, mail, etc.), be sure to read and understand the Terms of Service.
- Your rights: CEPs are subject to certain oversight by the Public Utilities Commission, which has established rules to protect consumers. CEPs are required to provide you with their Terms of Service before enrolling you, and you may opt out of any agreement within five calendar days from the provision of the Terms of Service document. CEPs must notify you of an automatic renewal, or any switch to a variable term at the end of a fixed term. Finally, CEPs are required to obtain a customer’s authorization prior to enrollment.
- If you have a complaint about a CEP, the Commission’s Consumer Assistance Division may be able to help. Click on https://www.maine.gov/mpuc/consumer-assistance/file-complaint for information on filing a complaint.
The Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) has some very useful information on helping select a competitive electricity provider (CEP) available at: https://www.maine.gov/meopa/electricity/electricity-supplyThe OPA site also provides a list of CEP price offerings.
You can view the full list of retail electricity suppliers here: https://www.maine.gov/mpuc/regulated-utilities/electricity/maine-retail-electricity-suppliers
Please note that prices can change without notice, so we strongly urge you to go to the CEP’s own website or call the CEPs directly to confirm price and other relevant information before signing up.