Business

Electric bills to rise about $25 a month

HALLOWELL, Maine — Versant Power residential customers will soon pay about $25 more per month, since the Maine Public Utilities Commission set rates for residential and business customers of the company’s Maine Public District for standard offer electricity supply.  

Residential customers who receive standard offer service can expect an increase of about 84 percent in their supply rates effective Jan. 1. The new price amounts to an increase of about $25 per month on the total bill for an average customer using 500 kWh/month, or an increase from about $79 to about $105.

The commission entered into a three-year contract with New Brunswick Energy Marketing Corporation as the standard offer provider for MPD residential and small non-residential, and medium non-residential classes beginning Jan. 1.  The prices for the residential and small non-residential class and the medium non-residential class are indexed to standard offer prices in the comparable standard offer classes for Central Maine Power Company and Versant Power’s Bangor Hydro District through 2022, according to the commission.

Medium Class customers will see an average increase of 86 percent in the supply portion of their bill.  Prices in this class vary by month, with an annual average of about 10.47 cents per kWh.  These increases apply to customers who do not purchase electricity from a competitive supplier of their choosing and instead receive standard offer supply by default.

“These prices are competitive and provide the best value for Versants Standard Offer customers,” Chairman Philip L. Bartlett II said. “Unfortunately, sharp increases in natural gas prices are resulting in higher electricity supply costs for the upcoming year. This increase is primarily driven by New England’s wholesale electricity market prices which have increased dramatically.”

The new standard offer electricity supply rates reflect a similar trend experienced in other energy sectors as well, according to the PUC. These costs are separate from Versant’s delivery costs and are not controlled by the utility. 

Customers can explore other options for electricity supply as well as options for financial assistance with utility and heating costs. More information is available at https://www.maine.gov/mpuc/.

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