High energy costs are a challenge for Maine residents and businesses. We can tell you from our daily interactions with colleagues that there is increased frustration with electric utilities on issues ranging from storm response costs to the effectiveness of so-called smart meters. One source of frustration we share is the continuous increase in the rates electric utilities charge.
For most homes and businesses, roughly half of the price we pay for electricity is the rate utilities charge for “delivery” over their transmission and distribution grid. (The other half is for the electricity produced by non-utility generators.) Central Maine Power’s delivery rate for medium-sized businesses has increased 80 percent over the last decade.
The increase has been driven by more and more costly wires, poles and substations. This is a burden on Maine’s economy and households, and plans for further grid build-out at ratepayers’ expense keep coming, with CMP announcing a $214 million expansion for electricity infrastructure in Greater Portland in March.
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