A Central Maine Power smart meter. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Central Maine Power customers will see their bills increase by more than 10 percent on Aug. 1. 

The rate change will show an increase of 11.5 percent, or about $10 in the average total bill for residential CMP customers, according to the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

The increase in rates is due to a federally mandated regional transmission tariff that will be used to finance new high-voltage transmission lines and maintain existing lines

Regulators did vote to defer storm costs from five major storms and 16 small storms that occurred in 2020, and will recuperate costs in the upcoming years. 

“To try to offset additional impacts on our customers in determining our annual adjustment, CMP has worked creatively to mitigate other costs where we can manage them through a variety of rate making tools, primarily the collection of storm costs for 2020 which we proposed to defer over four years,” Catharine Hartnett, communications manager for CMP said. 

The Public Utilities Commission voted to accept a two-year deference plan. 

This comes after Gov. Janet Mills vetoed an effort to form a consumer-owned utility company amid continued dissatisfaction with CMP, which has ranked last in a national survey on customer satisfaction for the past three years. 

CMP’s service issues have fueled opposition to its $1 billion hydropower corridor through western Maine, which faces a November referendum effort from critics looking to derail the project. Legislators alleged that the project has failed to meet tree-cutting requirements on one rural swath of the corridor, which the company denies.

Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is a journalism and anthropology student at the University of Maine, and will graduate in May. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley and staying active in the Maine...