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Lower Standard Offer Rates for Maine Businesses Announced

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February 3, 2009

Maine Public Utilities Commission NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 3, 2009

Lower Electric Standard Offer Prices Start in March for Commercial and Industrial Customers Bids reflect substantial price reductions AUGUSTA, Maine – Today the Maine PUC accepted bids on new standard offer energy prices for medium and large commercial and industrial (C&I) customers of Central Maine Power Company (CMP), and for medium C&I customers of Bangor Hydro-Electric Company (BHE). The prices are effective March 1, 2009, and extend for six months. The new standard offer prices apply only to customers that have not made their own electricity supply arrangements.
For CMP’s medium business customers, standard offer prices will decrease by 43% and for CMP’s large business customers, standard offer prices will decrease by 33%. For BHE’s medium business customers prices will decrease by 44%. “Lower electricity prices for Maine businesses is very good news,” said Sharon M. Reishus, who chairs the Commission. She noted that there were no final bids to supply standard offer service for BHE’s large business customers. The Commission ordered BHE to file a plan to provide standard offer service for this class, in which a comparatively small number of businesses currently take standard offer service. Reishus said that while potential suppliers had shown early interest in the BHE large class, none submitted bids at the final stage. Reishus indicated that the characteristics of electricity use by the class, as well as current economic and financial conditions, may have deterred bidders.

Currently, less than 9% of the electric load for CMP and BHE large C&I customers is on standard offer; the remaining customers receive their energy supply directly from other retail suppliers. About 58% of the electric load for CMP and BHE medium C&I customers is on standard offer.

For CMP, the new medium class standard offer prices will be on average about 7 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), down from 12.3 cents per kWh. CMP large-class customer rates will be about 8.6 cents/kWh, down from the previous rate of 12.9 cents/kWh.
For BHE, new standard offer prices will be about 6.8 cents/kWh for the medium class, down from 12.2 cents/kWh. Under Maine’s retail electric access rules, the PUC must ensure that standard offer service is available to all customers in Maine. The selected rates were chosen following a competitive bid process administered by the PUC, and the names of the suppliers selected will be withheld for two weeks, allowing time for supply arrangements.
Standard offer service is the default supply for electricity customers, meaning customers receive it if they have not purchased supply from another retail supplier or through an aggregator.
For more information on standard offer and energy delivery rates, go online to http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/industries/electricity/standardoffer/standardoffer_rates.html . For more information about commercial efficiency measures, go to www.efficiencymaine.com .