Customers in the Central Maine Power service area will pay lower rates for the supply of electricity in 2021, the Maine Public Utilities Commission said on Wednesday when announcing the results of its tendering process for fixing the prices of the “standard” offer.
The decrease is equivalent to a nearly 12 percent drop in the supply portion of residential and small business customers’ bills, to 6.45 cents per kilowatt hour.
This will be the second year in a row that the prices of the standard offer have fallen. The new rates come into effect on January 1.
On a total residential bill, the savings correspond to a reduction of 5.1%. For a customer using an average of 550 kilowatt hours per month, the savings are $ 4.70, or $ 56.38 per year. In other words, a monthly bill of $ 91.38 would decrease to $ 86.68.
Total electricity bills include the cost of providing electricity as well as the cost of delivering it. As of July, CMP’s delivery charge for home customers has been 9.3 cents per kWh, down from 8.4 cents.
Taken together, that means the total price in January on a residential bill will be 15.75 cents per kWh.
Middle class customers will also see an average decrease of about 12 percent in the supply portion of their bill. A medium-sized business using 20,000 kWh per month will see savings of around $ 2,000 per year, the PUC said.
We are pleased that prices have fallen again this year for CMP customers as well as Versant (Power) customers, as we announced yesterday, ”said Philip Bartlett, President of PUC. “Many residents of Maine are struggling to make ends meet, and businesses are struggling to keep their doors open due to the impacts of the pandemic.
The electricity rates announced on Wednesday concern the majority of customers served by CMP who do not choose to purchase their electricity from a competing supplier. The latest figures from the PUC show that 87% of homes and small businesses get their electricity through the standard offer.
Maine law requires the PUC to ensure that electricity customers who do not wish to contract with retail suppliers have a default option.
Under Maines’ 21-year restructuring law, CMP and Versant provide electricity, but do not generate it.
Wholesale electricity prices in New England depend primarily on the cost of fuel used to generate electricity and on consumer demand, which is related to weather and economic factors.
Natural gas-fired power plants generate about half of the region’s electricity and typically set the wholesale market price. The most recent data from ISO-New England, which operates the electricity grid, shows that average natural gas prices are down 26% from September 2019 and the average price of electricity has fallen by nearly by 3%.
Wednesday’s result reflects double-digit declines announced a day earlier for customers at Versant, which serves much of eastern and northern Maine.
Versant’s residential and small business customers will see a 10% drop in the procurement portion of their bills. This will equate to a 3.6% reduction in the total residential bill, the PUC calculated.
The reduction will represent a monthly savings of $ 3.41, or $ 40.95 per year. A monthly bill of $ 94.08 per month will decrease to $ 90.67.
Several bidders submitted sealed bids as part of the PUC’s annual competitive process for the two utilities.
In another case, Central Maine Power came in last place for the third consecutive year in a national survey of business customers by JD Power & Associates. The ranking came at a time when overall business customer satisfaction with electric utilities has increased, according to the survey.
In a statement, CMP executive chairman David Flanagan said the utility was happy its ranking improved by more than 50 points from the previous year, but he acknowledged the company still had work to do. He said CMP has made significant progress this year in areas important to business customers, such as reliability, responsiveness and community engagement.
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