Rate Hikes and Rate Discounts for Some Maine Utility Customers

The Maine Writer

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Some Mainers will see rate hikes on their natural gas bills after the Maine Public Utilities Commission just approved a rate hike for Summit Natural Gas. Summit serves Cumberland, Falmouth, Kennebec Valley, and Yarmouth.

Summit requested an annual cost of gas adjustment and the Maine Public Utilities Commission approved it, saying the rate hike was to offset the cost of gas and that Summit would not make an increased profit from the rate hike. The rate hike sets the price at $2.29 per therm. This will double the customer's bills.

While some Maine residents will see rate hikes for natural gas, those using green energy are going to receive a discount on their power bills with the implementation of several new optional electric rates. Maine Public Utilities Commission announced that they have reached an agreement with Maine utility providers that will offer a discount to Maine households that use green energy instead of using fossil fuels. The new electric rates will be for residential, commercial, and large-class customers that use electric vehicles, heat pumps, or other energy storage technology, including technology used for space and water heating.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission(MPUC) Chair Phil Bartlett said MPUC will continue to work in the months and years ahead to find ways to help support the transition to a clean energy future and be mindful of finding ways to make it affordable for people. The Maine Legislature also passed LD 528 during the 2021 Legislative Session, and the bill is relevant to utility rate designs to promote state policies.

More details on exactly how much customers will save will be made available soon on the Maine Public Utilities Commission website, and the newly approved rates will go into effect in the coming months.

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