Staff lawyers at the Maine Public Utilities Commission are recommending that a record financial penalty imposed on Central Maine Power for poor service quality be lifted, an assessment that has yet to be considered by the commissioners.

The recommendation came in a filing Tuesday at the agency. The commissioners haven’t set a date to consider it and are still receiving input in the case.

CMP asked the commission in September to remove the penalty, saying it has met or exceeded state-ordered customer service quality benchmarks for dealing with issues such as billing errors in a new software system and answering phone inquiries on time. The penalty, imposed in January 2020, has resulted in the utility losing almost $10 million in revenue over 18 months ending in September.

CMP said it made “significant organizational improvements and cultural changes to ensure consistent, enduring and high-quality customer service.”

In Tuesday’s filing by the PUC’s hearing examiner, the staff indicated that it “remained concerned” about CMP’s commitment to improving service. But the staff noted that metrics set up to measure service quality had been met “and it remains to be seen if that performance can be sustained.”

The Maine Office of Public Advocate and Competitive Energy Services, a Portland consulting firm, have objected to lifting the penalty.

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