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MPUC Approves CMP Smart Grid Metering Plan

February 1, 2010

Public Utilities Commission

News Advisory

For Immediate Release

Augusta, Maine—Today the Maine Public Utilities Commission approved Central Maine Power (CMP)’s proposal to invest in advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). The Commission found that AMI is an important smart grid technology that will ultimately reduce utility operational costs, improve customer service, enhanced storm restoration efforts and provide customers with the necessary tools to use either electricity more efficiently.

“It is reasonable for utilities to pursue aggressively smart grid opportunities like cost-effective installation of AMI,” stated Commission Chair Sharon Reishus. “This proposal to modernize CMP’s metering system is reasonably likely to save CMP customers $25 million over 20 years just in operational savings; the receipt of the DOE grant ensures benefits for customers.”

The Commission requested that CMP make all reasonable effort help displaced employees through early retirement and job re-training and required that the Commission receive a workforce reduction plan before the AMI program is launched. The CMP AMI proposal was rigorously examined to determine whether the benefits would outweigh the cost of approximately $190 million. A U.S. Department of Energy grant will cover approximately half the cost of the project.

Background: CMP proposed the installation of AMI consists of sophisticated meters and related systems used to allow for automated and remote meter reading and detailed customer usage measurement and storage. AMI could provide customers with the option of obtaining time-differentiated rates which will more closely reflect actual power costs through the day. Customers will be able to lower their electricity bills by reducing or shifting electricity usage during high-cost periods in response to market price signals. There are a variety of pricing programs and rate options that become available once the AMI is installed. The Commission will initiate a proceeding to consider and may develop rates and pricing to maximize the usefulness of the metering investments

A public witness hearing was held January 20th at the Commission’s offices in Hallowell.

For more information, see docket number 2007-215 in the virtual case file for publicly available documents.

Contact: Evelyn deFrees, 207-287-6141