Electric bills will be increasing again on July 1. Just when ratepayers thought they could breathe a sigh of relief based on last winter’s decrease in the Standard Offer (SO) price, here we go again with more increases.

For a typical CMP residential customer (using 550 kWh per month), the monthly bill is expected to increase by 12.5% or approximately $16 a month – totaling $187 for the year for each customer. This increase brings the rate CMP customers pay for electricity to approximately 25 cents/kWh, a rate that was unthinkable just a few years ago.

Maine ratepayers need to take steps to reduce costs as much as they can.

As your trusted source for regulated utility information, the Office of Public Advocate offers the following advice to help keep electricity costs under control:

• Make sure you aren’t paying more than the Standard Offer Rate

First, electric bills have two parts: delivery and supply. Mainers have some control over what they pay for supply. Most Mainers receive their electricity supply from the Standard Offer Provider (SOP) at a rate set by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).


However, approximately 50,000 customers purchase their supply from a Competitive Electricity Provider (CEP) who are allowed to set their own rates without approval by the PUC.

CEPs often offer an initial “teaser” rate below the SO rate, but later raise the rate above the SO rate. In the past, some CEPs have been charging Maine consumers more than twice the standard offer rate. Between 2016 and 2022, CEPs charged Maine consumers approximately $80 million more than what those customers would have paid had they been supplied by the SO Provider.

If you receive your electric supply from a CEP, check your bill to make sure you are not paying more than the current Standard Offer rate of 10.8 cents per kWh. If you’re paying more than that, call CMP to switch to the Standard Offer (1-800-750-4000). If you are not sure where to find your rate on your bill, call the Office of the Public Advocate at 207-624-3687.
Understand your usage.

Second, be aware that devices that run a motor, create heat, or create cooling often use a lot of electricity. Think space heaters and dehumidifiers. Use the Energy Manager tool on the CMP website to track your usage week-by-week, day-by-day and hour-by-hour to find out when your usage is occurring and help nail down what’s using electricity in your home. Not comfortable on the web? Call CMP Customer Service (1-800-750-4000).

• Be efficient

Try to reduce your usage where you can. Unplug items in your home when they’re not in use. Efficiency Maine has a great Energy Efficiency Tips Booklet available online – or they’re happy to mail you a copy if you call 1-866-376-2463. Efficiency Maine also has rebate programs to help you evaluate your home’s efficiency as well as rebates for insulation, heat pumps, and energy efficient washing machines and air purifiers.


• Choose the right delivery rate

CMP has special rates for people with heat pumps, people with high electricity use due to electric cars and other new technologies, and even a time-of-use rate. Call CMP to see if any of these can save you money.

• Reach out for support

Finally, if your electric bill is unaffordable, call 2-1-1. There are programs in place to help, and 2-1-1 can connect you to resources in your community.

Have any questions about these tips? Contact our office’s Consumer Advisor, Elizabeth Deprey, at 207-624-3690.

William S. Harwood has served as Maine Public Advocate since he was appointed by Governor Mills in January 2022. The Office of the Public Advocate’s primary responsibility is to represent the interests of Maine utility consumers.

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