AUGUSTA (AP) — State energy officials are telling mid-size businesses in Maine that their electric bills could more than double this winter.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission said Monday that a medium-sized business such as a grocery store or a small sawmill could see energy costs jump from $870 in September to more than $2,000 in January.

The commission said business customers served by Central Maine Power Co. will see their standard-offer electricity rates jump from 6 cents per kilowatt hour in October to 15 cents in January.

The increases are blamed on the cost of natural gas delivered to New England in the winter and used to generate electricity. A lack of pipeline capacity sends prices soaring.

The commission is encouraging conservation and efficiency efforts.

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