The Maine Public Utilities Commission (Commission) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) today for retail electricity standard offer service for all customer classes in the territories of Central Maine Power (CMP) and Versant Power-Bangor Hydro District (BHD), as well as for large commercial/industrial customer class of Versant Power-Maine Public District (MPD). The other customer classes of Versant Power-MPD are served under a multi-year arrangement that was approved in 2019.
The Commission is seeking proposals for a one-year term beginning January 1, 2022. Initial proposals are due October 13, 2021. CMP and Versant Power are electric transmission and distribution utilities serving customers throughout Maine. Total electricity sales to their customers is approximately 12 million megawatt-hours annually and about 57% of customers currently receive standard offer service. The RFP and related materials are available on the Commission website.
The new standard offer prices that result from this RFP process will be announced later this year and will go into effect January 1, 2022. Those who have chosen a competitive electric supplier (CEP) will not be impacted by the results of this RFP unless they switch back to standard offer supply.
Background: An electric bill includes two components: electricity supply and delivery. The standard offer supply rate is just one part of the total electric bill. When the electric industry restructured in 2000, utilities were required to sell their electricity generating assets and therefore no longer supplied the electricity. They do, however, maintain the infrastructure that delivers the power to your home or business. That includes substations, large transmission lines, distribution lines, utility poles and meters that connect to your home or business.
Since the law was changed in 2000, electric customers have had the option of choosing their own electricity supplier or using the default supplier, which is the supplier or suppliers chosen in the competitive bidding process for standard offer electricity supply conducted by the Commission. Maine’s electric utilities do not set the rates for electricity supply, they simply bill on behalf of the suppliers so that customers do not receive two bills.
Maine’s average residential electricity rate is $0.159 per kWh.