Should The State of Maine Take Over Power Distribution?
It's been a crazy year or two to be a customer of CMP. All we've seemingly heard about is the ongoing 'billing crisis' where customers are allegedly being billed double, sometimes triple, the amount they normally pay, and with no apparent increase in their usage. I, for one, have not noticed any increase in my CMP bill (slightly in the winter when lights and heat are on longer) and typically only pay about $75.00/Mo. With that being said, we certainly can't ignore the stories of people receiving bills for properties where power hasn't even been connected in months, sometimes years. Sup with that?
CMP, now under investigation by the PUC, has been dealing with this backlash from it's customers for quite sometime. They had even gone so far as to come out a few months ago and indicate that there was nothing wrong with their billing practices and that the bills Mainers received were accurate. Yeah, probably shouldn't have done that- there's clearly something going on here, whether intentional or otherwise.
The newly proposed bill would require CMP and Emera Maine to sell off all their assets and transmission lines to the the state of Maine. Maine would create the 'Maine Power Delivery Authority' and begin distributing power themselves. The bill proposes using low-interest bonds to buy the companies assets, which at last evaluation in 2017, were worth a combined 4 billion dollars. Wowza.
CMP currently pays about 13% interest to outside investors, and this bill aims to get those rates down to 3%. The initial calculations are that power costs statewide would go down by about 300 million bucks. That would take my power bill to about -$1,200.00 a year. I think maybe I did some of that math wrong.
Either way, I'm not saying I'm for or against this, I just don't know enough. My initial gut reaction is that I don't want government, whether state or local, to continually take over private sector commerce. But, we'll see what happens!