When you get a raise, it’s normally because of a job well done.

Central Maine Power has asked the Public Utilities Commission for a raise — a big one (“Under fire for billing problems, CMP seeking approval for rate hike,” July 1). The utility giant wants a $46.5 million rate increase. Even if CMP wasn’t already under intense scrutiny for inexcusable billing mistakes, the proposed rate increase would still be unaffordable for Mainers. However, during three recent public hearings, consumers shared how CMP overbilled them, failed to correct the billing errors, and subjected them to an appalling customer service system.

The public uproar has not been limited to the public hearings. In the last week alone, AARP Maine heard from more than 450 CMP customers, all of whom expressed outrage at CMP’s rate increase request. That request includes an increase in the fixed rate for all their customers no matter how much or how little electricity they use. CMP clearly mishandled the launch of their billing system and their bad performance should not be rewarded with a raise.

AARP Maine strongly opposes CMP’s latest request to raise their rates. CMP’s Spanish parent company, Iberdrola, just announced double-digit growth in their profits, yet they continue to push for higher rates for their customers. We think it’s time to put ratepayers ahead of shareholders and pay Maine back first.

If you would like to make your voice heard on this issue, send an email to [email protected] today.

 

Austin Hodge

AARP Maine advocacy director

Portland


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