AUGUSTA —Sen. Justin Chenette, D-Saco, has introduced a bill that aims to protect consumers from utility companies and tightens oversight of Maine’s utility regulators. LD 1120, “An Act To Protect Consumers from Price Gouging by Utility Companies,” would prevent double-digit rate increases for electricity bills and would allow the governor to replace members of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
“The time has come to hold CMP and other utilities accountable to prevent price gouging and inaccurate billing,” said Sen. Chenette. “For far too long, the Public Utilities Commission has been enabling utility companies to write themselves a blank check and by doing so allowing foreign shareholders to profit off Maine residents.”
The bill would make members of the PUC serve at the pleasure of the governor, instead having set terms, and would change their compensation levels to match the average annual wage in the state. To protect consumers, LD 1120 would limit the increases in the rates utility companies can charge to less than 10 percent in any 12-month period.
A public hearing is set for 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee in the Cross Building, room 211.
4/2/2019 07:23:44 pm
I am for this bill...wish I could be at hearing...
4/2/2019 07:50:06 pm
Very encouraged with this push back against unfair billing from CMP and recognizing it is directly a result of those currently occupying the MPUC. I would add, however, that simply limiting future increases does not address the huge financial burden CMP has already placed on its ratepayers. I am hopeful you will also find more fellow Representatives and investigate the scope of this situation. My hope is that it leads to a buyout and return the utility to the ratepayers of Maine where the ratepayers enjoy a more favorable rate since no profits would go to a company in Spain. Representative Seth Berry of Bowdoinham is currently working toward that end also.
PETER J MILLS
4/2/2019 07:56:37 pm
~Incorrectly mentioned fellow Representatives as I was to refer to Representative Seth Berry. Should have read:
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