When your next electric bill arrives, please pay particular attention to the SUPPLY PORTION. Years ago, The Maine Public Utilities Commission, in their infinite wisdom, decided it would be in the consumers’ best interest to separate our electric bill into two parts. The first is the delivery part which is the Central Maine Power charge to bring electricity to us. The second is the supply charge, which CMP has absolutely no control over, even though they are required to invoice and collect for it.
Many of us elect the STANDARD OFFER for the supply part. Each year the MPUC solicits quotes for the coming year. In 2022 the standard offer was 11.8161 cents per kilowatt-hour. The 2023 rate is 17.6310 cents/KWH. This is a whopping 49% increase due primarily to the price charged by companies that produce electricity with natural gas. This is the main dispatchable power source. In other words, when renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are not available to satisfy the system needs (think AC, heat pumps, electric vehicles, etc.) natural gas (a fossil fuel) is needed to keep our lights on.
The CMP corridor might not have significantly reduced the supply price, but it certainly would have created stability in the current cost, which appears to be completely unchecked.
Each time you pay your electric bill this next year – write a little thank you note to two of Franklin County’s local heroes for the tremendous part they played in stopping the corridor. Without their tireless effort we might have enjoyed a lower bill. History may prove that these two gentlemen greatly contributed to a terrible disservice for the Maine ratepayers.
Also, if you have any excess funds after paying your electric bill, you might consider a tax-deductible contribution to the Natural Resources Council of Maine. They, too, deserve credit for your increased cost. Apparently, they feel that generating electricity with natural gas is much better for the environment than with hydro generation.
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