A coalition of labor leaders, business leaders, ratepayers, community organizations, and legislators today rolled out a bill to address rising energy costs by ending the for-profit monopoly of Central Maine Power and Emera Maine. Instead, Maine will follow the lead of Nebraska and other regions across Maine and the country – rural urban and suburban alike – where customers own their utility directly.
The legislation creates a new Maine Power Delivery Authority, outside of state government and wholly owned by its customer, Maine Power Delivery would purchase Maine’s two for-profit utilities, Central Maine Power and Emera Maine and would reduce rates by refinancing these assets according to a press release issues moments ago.
According to the American Public Power Association, one in seven Americans is served by a consumer-owned utility. On average, these customers pay 15% less and are without power for less than half the time endured by customers of investor-owned utilities like CMP. The rural state of Nebraska had the best reliability in the nation of 2017 and among the lowest rates. Maine had the worst reliability that year and among the highest rates. Nebraska is the only state with 100% consumer-owned power.
“We want a utility that will keep the costs down and the lights on and put its Maine customers and workers first,” said bill sponsor Representative Seth Berry. “Our current utilities have failed us in every respect — with the clear exception of our consumer-owned utilities.”
Kristy Pottle, one of the founders of the 7,000 + member Facebook “CMP Ratepayers Unites,” said: “It’s becoming very clear that CMP is not accountable to ratepayers, just to their own excessive profits. And it’s not just CMP – other investor-owned utilities like Emera are accountable to heir investors, not to ratepayers. It’s high time for a change. It’s time for Mainers to put our investor-owned electric utilities back in the hands of consumers.”
For more information, contact Seth Berry, firstname.lastname@example.org or at 207 522-1609. He is the bill sponsor.