Central Maine Power customers may see their bills increase by double-digits in August, thanks to a sharp rise in federally mandated regional transmission rates that will affect most electric utility companies in New England.
The annual adjustment — which CMP projects will result in a 9 percent increase overall across the region — will be used to finance new high-voltage transmission lines and maintain existing lines, Maine Public reported.
The tariff will hit CMP harder than most, with rates increasing by $70 million, or about 25 percent.
To lessen the burden on customers, the utility company is requesting that Maine Public Utilities defer some storm charges and keep an overall residential rate increase to under 10 percent.
That would amount to an extra $8.65 a month for a home with an $88 bill, which includes electric supply, transmission and distribution costs. CMP has about 636,000 customers in central and southern Maine.
“I can’t recall a time I’ve seen an increase that large,” Eric Stinneford, a CMP finance and planning vice-president at CMP, told Maine Public.
The adjustment comes as the company attempts to recover financially after a series of major storms caused widespread power outages last year.
CMP is also in the midst of constructing a $1 billion hydropower corridor through western Maine — a project many have questioned, as the company has been criticized for slow power restorations in recent years. It is projected to be completed in the second quarter of 2023.
CMP has ranked last in a customer satisfaction survey for three years in a row.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission will consider the requests on July 14.