The Maine Public Utilities Commission issued a press release providing consumers tips and suggestions on what to consider when shopping for a Competitive Electricity Supplier.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission
Contact: Harry Lanphear
November 14, 2014
Augusta, Maine — In making decisions about electricity supply, residential and small business consumers should be aware of some key points as they are deciding among various suppliers and pricing options, and comparing their options to standard offer service. Key points for consumers to keep in mind include:
- There are several Maine-licensed Competitive Electricity Providers (CEPs) that serve residential and small business consumers. Consumers can arrange to buy from one of these CEPs by contacting the CEP directly. CEP’s set their own prices, and different CEPs can structure their prices in different ways. Prices may be fixed for a year or for a certain number of months, or may vary from one month to the next. There may also be introductory prices that will change after a certain number of months. CEP prices are not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
- Residential and small business consumers can always receive standard offer service. Standard offer service, which is administered by the PUC, is the supply consumers automatically receive if they do not sign up with a CEP. Standard offer service prices for Central Maine Power and Emera Maine (Bangor Hydro Electric) residential and small business customers are currently about 7.6 cents/kWh. These prices are in effect through the end of next February. New standard offer prices will be set and announced by the PUC early in 2015.
- Consumers that currently receive standard offer service do not have to do anything to continue to receive it. Consumers that have signed up with a CEP need to be aware of how their CEP handles renewals. Many CEPs have terms of service that provide for automatic renewals, which consumers are to be notified of but must act on within specific timeframes. This is one reason why it is very important that consumers understand a CEP’s terms of service when they sign up. It is important that they keep their contact information with the CEP up-to-date, read communications from the CEP carefully, and respond promptly.
- Residential and small business consumers may switch from standard offer service to a CEP at their option. No switching fee, opt-out fee or other type of termination fee is charged for this.
- Residential and small business consumers can change CEPs or return to standard offer service, but if they do so before the end of their CEP contract there may be an early termination fee assessed by the CEP.
- Finally, consumers should be aware that all CEPs are required to provide them with Terms of Service that describe the prices and any additional fees they may be charged, including early termination fees. Consumers should read these Terms of Service carefully before signing up.
For more information, please click on the link below.View this News Release (external link)