Electricity101PT

ElectIndustryPH_Image

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.

DelieverySupPH_Image

bullet
Delivery
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.
bullet
Supply
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.
bullet
Standard Offer Service (Default Service)
Electricity supply is available without contract through Standard Offer Service for all electric customers in Maine. In the Maine Public Service, Central Maine Power and Bangor Hydro Electric distribution areas standard offer service is set through a bid process conducted by the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
bullet
Competitive Supply
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.

UniformDisclosurePH

All Suppliers must provide Customers with a contract/agreement and include the terms and conditions, which have been agreed to. A fixed price agreement does not require a market risk disclosure statement.

In addition a description of the power source used to generate your electricity should be included annually, The statement lists the percentage of each power source component in your electricity mix, Maine requires a 33% renewable component.

MPOAccountPricingPH

Maine PowerOptions maintains a database of electricity account information provided by members. Members submit bill copies when first joining MPO and provide updates copies for any accounts which may be contracted. MPO works with suppliers 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:

BulletImage
verify account numbers and obtain meter numbers
BulletImage
obtain utility assigned supply Rate Class names & codes to properly categorize, track and price accounts
BulletImage
obtain the account "Service Address" (often different from physical or mailing address)
BulletImage
provide to suppliers for enrollment of contracted accounts when a contract is executed by a member

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.

ReadBillPH

BulletImage
Bill layouts vary depending on the Utility but the basic information remains the same.
BulletImage
Delivery and supply charges are billed separately.
BulletImage
Delivery charges are listed on the first page of bills followed by supply charges on subsequent pages.
BulletImage
Identifying the correct supply rate code is critical for obtaining correct competitive pricing.
BulletImage
In the case of CMP and BHE accounts in the Large and Industrial rate classes, suppliers use 15 minute interval data provided by the Utility (through MPO) to price the account.

For more information on how to read your bill, click here.

RateCodesImage

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 6 general classes and examples of possible rate coding:

BulletImage
Residential Service (Res, A1000)
BulletImage
Small Non-Residential Service (A2000, A2006)
BulletImage
Medium Service (MGS, MS, C3000, BSVA BSPA)
BulletImage
SLarge/Large Commercial Service (C3006, LGS)
BulletImage
Industrial/Small Industrial Service (C5020, Ind, IGS)
BulletImage
Lighting (SL, AL)

Please call MPO if you have questions about the rate class of a specific account, or rate codes in general.