A few days ago, I received a call from Brenda Hendrickson of Central Maine Power, who wanted to discuss a complaint I had lodged with the Maine Public Utilities Commission several weeks earlier.

Like hundreds, if not thousands, of other CMP customers, I had complained about sudden and continuing increases in my CMP bill that were, to me, unexplainable. Accordingly, the MPUC has announced it is investigating these complaints (“Regulators launching full probe of CMP bills,” March 21, Page A1).

Ms. Hendrickson informed me that the MPUC had asked CMP to call those who had complained to ask them what their issues were. Let that sink in for a moment. The MPUC is investigating CMP and is asking CMP to determine what the complaint might be, even though the MPUC has launched an investigation into CMP based on complaints that the commission had received and presumably understood. If the MPUC had not understood my complaint, I would expect them – not CMP – to call me for clarification.

Rankling me even further, Ms. Hendrickson informed me that the increases that CMP customers were seeing in their bills were directly related to a recent bid process handled by the MPUC. Therefore, she explained, the MPUC was responsible for the rate increases, not CMP.

Please follow this closely: The MPUC, which is investigating CMP concerning customer complaints, asked CMP to determine what customers are complaining about, in effect asking CMP to investigate itself. Conversely, CMP is suggesting that the MPUC is responsible for the complaints, indicating that the MPUC is also investigating itself.

The entire investigation appears to be altogether too incestuous to be believed. Perhaps Portland Press Herald Staff Writer Tux Turkel, who wrote the above-referenced article, will take another look at this situation.

Jerry Genesio


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