An Emera Maine truck in front of Graham Station in Veazie. Credit: Courtesy of Emera Maine

Emera Maine said Tuesday it is withdrawing its request with state regulators to increase its distribution rate amid a bid to sell the utility to a western Canadian firm.

In early March, Emera Maine informed customers in a letter of its request with the Maine Public Utilities Commission to increase the distribution rate, one of five on a customer’s bill, about $5.75 a month per 500 kilowatt hours of electricity consumption.

That was 25 cents less than Emera Maine’s initial estimate in a filing submitted to the commission in January. The increase, if approved, would have gone into effect in early 2020.

But that plan is being put on hold while Emera Inc. awaits regulatory approval for the proposed sale of its Maine subsidiary to ENMAX Corp. of Calgary, Alberta. The Nova Scotia-based firm announced the $1.3 billion deal on March 25,

“The upcoming regulatory approval for ENMAX Corp.’s acquisition of Emera Maine and our rate request are important and distinct regulatory proceedings that both deserve a full and transparent review process. By withdrawing the rate case at this time, it will allow each to receive the appropriate focus by all parties,” Emera Maine spokeswoman Judy Long said.

“We are confident we can demonstrate the value associated with our rate request at the appropriate time,” Long said.