Gov. LePage: Mainers Paying More for Electricity As Compared to National Average

For Immediate Release: Friday, September 07, 2012  

Contact: Evan Beal (207) 287-5086

 

Mainers Paying More for Electricity As Compared to National Average

LePage Administration looks to lower prices for Mainers 

AUGUSTA – The Maine Energy Office announced today that electricity rates in Maine as compared to the national average are much higher than other states. The data, provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, indicates that Maine rates are improving. However, Maine is still 24 percent above the US average at 11.94 cents/kWh (per kilowatt hour) as compared to the national average of 9.62 cents/kWh.

Maine has the 12th highest electricity prices in the United States. Maine’s 2010 average all-sector retail price was 31 percent above the national average decreasing to 26 percent above in 2011. The latest data shows that we are currently at 24 percent above the national average. “We are moving in the right direction, but we need to progress more quickly. Electricity rates are so high that they are killing job opportunities in the State of Maine,” said Governor Paul LePage.

The decline in rates can be attributed in part to the standard offer rate for Residential and Small Commercial customers that decreased in March. The decline was approximately one cent per kilowatt hour (kWh) – electricity usage in Maine is billed in terms of cents per kWh of electricity consumed – saving consumers approximately $50 million per year.

While it is encouraging that Maine’s electricity rates are decreasing, the reduced prices are primarily the result of the significant decreases in the price of natural gas which sets the clearing price in the market. Natural gas is the primary fuel for about 50% of the capacity in Maine. However, Maine has one of the highest renewable standards in the nation, requiring 40% of total retail electricity sales to come from renewable resources by 2017.

The Governor has been and will continue to prioritize his work with natural gas companies, regulators, potential customers, communities, neighboring states and provinces and other stakeholders to expand natural gas infrastructure throughout the State.

Additionally, to ensure an affordable, adequate and reliable supply of electricity for Maine residents and to encourage the use of renewable, efficient and regional resources, the Governor will continue to open the market to all cost-effective generation sources, including large-scale hydro-power. The LePage Administration will again seek to remove the 100MW cap on hydro-power in an effort to lower energy prices for Mainers.

The Governor and the Governor’s Energy Office are developing a short- and long-term strategy to pursue energy security with clean, reliable, affordable, sustainable, regional resources and increased access to natural gas supplies where economically feasible. The Plan will also provide a clear, concise and comprehensive blueprint to address a potential or actual energy emergency caused by a supply disruption, a rapid and unsustainable increase in energy prices or other energy emergency situation.

Kenneth Fletcher, the Director of Governor LePage’s Energy Office, says, “This Administration is committed to lowering the energy costs for Mainers and the way we reduce costs is to advance an energy agenda next legislative session. The Energy Office is going to continue to work tirelessly to lower Maine’s energy costs to benefit all Mainers and make the state more business-friendly to enhance economic development and job growth.”

 

http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/MEGOV-5273a9

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Comment by Mike DiCenso on September 11, 2012 at 8:12pm

The Gov. is wise to the Goebbel-esque  propaganda the wind cartel repeats and he doesn't buy it. Save Maine from expensive wind scammery !!

Comment by Long Islander on September 7, 2012 at 10:45pm
Comment by Jim Lutz on September 7, 2012 at 3:11pm

With the amount of renewable, clean energy we currently produce in Maine, We should be paying LESS than everywhere in the nation.  Thank you Gov. Baldacci and Angus King.

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Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT (excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?"  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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