CMP to pay $4 million in penalties for service complaints

Posted Oct. 12, 2010, at 3:29 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Central Maine Power Co. has agreed to pay $4 million in penalties for high numbers of customer service quality complaints in 2009.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission said Tuesday it has approved a settlement between the state’s largest utility and the Office of the Public Advocate, which represents ratepayers.

Under its rate plan, CMP was allowed to get up to one complaint per 1,000 customers each year without penalty. But in 2009, it received nearly 2.5 complaints per 1,000 customers.

PUC officials say most of the penalty will pass on to Maine ratepayers. They say CMP’s penalty could have been as high as $5 million, but that the agreement considered CMP’s claim that the economic downturn led to a rise in complaints about practices in collecting overdue bills.

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