How to Navigate Maine Electric Rates
The option to choose electricity providers in Maine is available for both commercial and residential consumers. Before the restructuring of the market in 2000, consumers had only one option for Maine electricity - a utility regulated by the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC). Now, business owners and residents can select from competing Maine energy options and find an electric supply plan that works best for their situation.
Find a supply rate from Maine energy options
Electric consumers in the restructured Maine energy market can search competitive electricity providers (CEPs) to find a supply plan that fits their needs. If consumers choose not to find a supply plan from a CEP, by default they will receive electricity through a utility's Standard Offer. Distribution companies, or the consumer's local utility, remain in charge of delivery and maintenance of all electric service.
What is Standard Offer Service?
While Maine energy options are growing, business owners and residents can opt out and receive electricity through Standard Offer Service. The Standard Offer is also available to consumers who do not live within the service area of a CEP. Supply rates are determined once a year, historically in March, by the MPUC and are set until the following year when the Standard Offer rate is re-determined. The supply rate could be more or less than a CEP's, so it is important for consumers to weigh their Maine energy options carefully.
What type of Maine electric rates are there?
Residents and business owners who wish to participate in the competitive electricity market will find that most supply plans offer fixed Maine electric rates. However, many CEPs offer variable supply rates. Fixed supply rates feature a term agreement that keeps a constant, price-protected supply rate for the entire length of the agreed contract term. Variable supply rates can vary from month to month and do not have a term contract. Maine energy options include green energy supply plans, and these plans also have fixed or variable supply rates.
Explore renewable energy from electricity providers in Maine
No matter whether a consumer chooses Standard Offer Service or a plan from the competitive electricity providers in Maine, he or she can pick a renewable energy option.
Residents and business owners can choose green energy plans, if offered by a selected CEP, that help offset their home's or building's monthly energy consumption with renewable energy credits (RECs). Consumption matches up to 100 percent of a property's usage, with RECs that support renewable energy generation such as solar, hydroelectric, wind, biomass, tidal, geothermal and fuel cells.
If a consumer lives within Central Maine Power, Maine Public Service or Emera Maine (formerly Bangor Hydro) service areas, he or she can participate in MPUC's Maine Green Power program. This program allows those who enroll to purchase RECs from renewable energy facilities in Maine, supporting local renewable energy generation. Consumers should note that the Maine Green Power program does not take the place of the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), therefore no RECs purchased through this program fulfill RPS requirements. Instead, this program goes beyond state requirements and further reduces emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.
Report electrical emergencies to the utility
Utilities, or distribution companies, maintain all power lines and electrical infrastructure in each utility's service area. This responsibility does not lie with a selected CEP. In the event of a power loss or electrical emergency, do not call a provider. Consumers should contact their local utility instead.
Service utilities in Maine:
- Central Maine Power Company Outage hotline: 800-696-1000
- Eastern Maine Electric Cooperative Outage hotline: 800-696-7444
- Emera Maine (formerly Bangor Hydro and Maine Public Service) Outage hotline: 1-855-363-7211
- Fox Island Electric Cooperative Outage hotline: 207-863-4636
- Houlton Water Company Outage hotline: 207-532-1212
- Isle-Au-Haut Electric Outage hotline: 207-335-5571
- Kennebunk Light & Power District Outage hotline: 207-985-3311 and After-hours outage hotline: 207-985-1142
- Madison Electric Works Outage hotline: 207-696-4401, Ext. 245
- Monhegan Plantation Power District Outage hotline: 207-594-4743
- Matinicus Plantation Electric Outage hotline: 207-366-3830
- Swans Island Cooperative Outage hotline: 207-526-4336
- Van Buren Light & Power District Outage hotline: 207-868-3321