For most of the State of Maine distribution and supply of electricity were separated in March 2000 at the time of restructuring of the electricity industry in Maine. Investor owned electric utilities were required to divest themselves of their generation assets. Utility companies continued to be responsible for providing the distribution of electricity, operation and maintenance of transmission lines, and billing, while the supply of electricity was opened up to licensed competitive suppliers. Distributors and suppliers of electricity continue to be regulated by the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
For more specific information regarding Maine's electricity restructuring rules go to the MPUC web page.
Utilities (Central Maine Power, Bangor Hydro etc.) no longer generate or supply electricity, with the exception of some small utility companies that were exempt from deregulation such as Kennebunk Power & Light. Utilities continue to own and maintain poles and lines, and are responsible for all delivery and repair aspects of electricity in the State of Maine. Utilities bill for the delivery of electricity and provide supply billing for the standard offer supplier and most competitive suppliers.
Electricity can no longer be supplied by your utility and is available only from licensed Competitive Electricity Suppliers. Supply choices are either default service through the standard offer supplier or through a contract with a licensed electricity supplier.
Electricity supply is available without contract through Standard Offer Service for all electric customers in Maine. In the Emera Maine (Maine Public), Emera Maine (Bangor Hydro) and Central Maine Power distribution areas standard offer service is set through a bid process conducted by the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
Consumers can contract for supply through licensed competitive electricity suppliers. To receive competitive supply you must actively seek an alternative to the standard offer default service and contract for supply through a licensed competitive supplier.
All Suppliers must provide Customers with a contract/agreement and include the terms and conditions, which have been agreed to. The terms and conditions are important since they define the price paid and the supply components included in the term. If there is an auto-renewal clause in this contract you must pay great attention to the end date or be auto-renewed at a rate you did not agree to. The MPO agreement does not have auto-renew. A fixed price agreement does not require a market risk disclosure statement.
Maine PowerOptions maintains a database of electricity account information provided by members. Members submit bill copies when first joining MPO and provide updated copies for any accounts which may be contracted. MPO works with our provider to obtain pricing for member accounts and to provide pricing opportunities to members. MPO can assist members with market and contract information to assist them in their budgeting process.
Bill copies are used by MPO to:
Delivery rate class and supply rate class can be different and it is critical for competitive pricing to have the supply rate class and corresponding rate class account codes.
For more information on how to read your bill, click here.
Supply and Delivery Rate Codes are assigned by the distribution company based on the electricity usage and attributes of service. Utilities have set up thousands of possible rate codes fine-tuned for specific account characteristics and in some cases special delivery contract arrangements. As an example, Central Maine Power could classify an account as Medium Rate Class for their delivery rates, but the account could be a Large Rate Class account for supply categorization purposes. Account rate classification can be confusing so it is critical that MPO reviews a bill copy for an account to assure proper identification of the rate class of the account.
The supply rate is one tool MPO and suppliers use to help provide pricing for an account. Accounts break down into 5 main classes and examples of possible rate coding:
Please call MPO if you have questions about the rate class of a specific account, or rate codes in general.