It is disconcerting to find our state government is the root cause of scam. I’m working with a couple in their late 1980s with high electric bills. In 2013, they installed a heat pump and thought that to be the reason. It was not. They were paying an exorbitant amount due to switching from the standard offer to a Competitive Electricity Supplier (CEP).

Reviewing the literature and insinuated promises made by this company leaves little doubt; they are here scamming Maine people. In eight months, this couple’s cost per kilowatt-hour, excluding delivery charges, increased from 6.5 to 18 cents, an extra $465. Is this happening to you?

Maine government invited and gave license to these companies to come into our state with little oversight. Some come only to scam Maine residents. Competition in the electricity retail market just doesn’t make sense. It ignores the basic economic principle; buying in bulk is cost effective.

Prior to deregulation in the late 1990s, what power Maine utilities did not generate to serve their customers, they purchased in large amounts from a competitive wholesale market. For the past 15 years, Maine Public Utilities Commission has taken on that role hoping the CEPs would take over.

Competition has proven itself a failure for the average residential customer. A bad decision made by our legislators. The PUC imposes stringent regulation on utilities like CMP and Emera Maine. They ignore the newcomers because Maine government believes you can do better by going to a competitive market system.

If you are buying from a CEP, check your electricity bills. See if that is true. Divide the cost of supply by the total KWH usage. If more than 6.5 cents, you are overpaying. You may want to rethink your supplier.

Gerard Chasse

Hartland