Central Maine Power CEO Douglas Herling claims (July 17) that Rep. Seth Berry was “inaccurate and inflammatory” in his opinion piece about the utility’s billing issues. This response was not a model of candor, however. Herling refers to the “less than 0.2 percent” of customers with disputes, which probably reflects some formal dispute process, but he doesn’t even acknowledge, let alone address, the 100,000 inaccurate bills sent to customers or the 97,000 whose bills rose more than 50 percent after the change in the billing system. This increase he blamed the weather or the customers themselves.

Whatever the outcome, that’s way more than 0.2 percent of customers and makes it obvious that he’s trying to minimize the issue.

Herling disputes Berry’s claim that delivery rates increased dramatically from 2010 to 2018, calling it an “apples-to-oranges comparison. Likewise, where Berry claims that CMP investors see $1000 in profits on a $100, 20-year investment, Herling says the “correct calculation” would yield only $50 in that timeframe. But in neither case does Herling explain.

We can only hope that the legal action he threatens brings some clarity. Meanwhile, we are left with the classic choice offered by Groucho Marx: “Who are you going to believe – me, or your own eyes?”

 


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