You’ve probably noticed that the Standard Offer Provider supply price on your bill from Central Maine Power or Versant has gone up a fair bit, reflected in the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s recently approved market-based rates for power generation and power delivery.

We can serve ourselves better in the future by buying out CMP and Versant. We can add them to the list of consumer-owned utilities in Maine, allowing us to replace foreign investors’ interests with Maine consumers’ interests. We can make infrastructure investments that would actually dovetail with our requirements for reliable power. We will be free to shape our electric grid future in line with our climate initiatives and environmental and equity concerns.

In July of 2021 our governor vetoed the bill that would have let us decide this year whether to buy out CMP and Versant, creating consumer-owned utilities in their place. Gov. Mills thought the bill still needed conceptual work. Subsequently, the buyout proposal was refined to address the governor’s concerns. Now a citizen’s initiative is collecting signatures to put the matter directly before the voters in a 2023 referendum. We should take the opportunity to keep our utility bills reasonable, to improve grid reliability, and to better secure Maine’s economic future.

 

Celeste Carey

Newcastle

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