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Electric Bill Charges For Emera Maine Customers

| March 5, 2014

ElectricBills from WAGM-TV on Vimeo.

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There has been some concern from Emera Maine customers about their bills.  Some customers are saying their bills are much bigger than they should be. While electric company officials say the only way a customer can get charged more, is if they use more.

Roughly two years of information…a month by month breakdown of usage..all falling somewhere between 600 and 1100 kwh. This Emera Maine customer doesn’t think it’s some great conspiracy, but she wants to know hwy all of a sudden, in the first month of billing through the Emera maine brand, her usage more than doubled from what it was the year before. A spokesperson for the company formerly known as Maine Public Service agrees, the jump seems odd. But says there are a lot of factors that can affect a customers usage.

Emera Maine Spokesperson Bob Potts,
“we’ll have folks that will call into the call center and say “my bill is up 10 or 12 dollars this month and I’m not sure why, my usage hasn’t increased” and our customer service reps after digging a little deeper will find out the folks live on a farm, they’ve been heating the water trough for the horses for the last week, “oh gee I didn’t think about that.”

A number of customers claim they’re seeing higher electric bills, Potts says that can only be due to increased usage. Usage, he says, couldn’t be fabricated. Emera maine customer service centers have a server that reads the information from each meter’s tracking number.

Potts, “if customers have any questions about their usage – by all means our customers service representatives are well versed on the questions asked to help folks try and identify what might be going on.”

Each bill is based on roughly 30 days. Emera maine can actually send customers a report on their usage should they request it. The amount of usage does have a lot to do with weather and other variables so it really comes down to supply and demand.

Emera Maine says customers are always encouraged to call their customer service representatives over concerns or explanation of charges to their bill. Specific details on rates are listed below.

Residential Customers

Flat monthly rate of $7.63 for the first 100/kwh; this is the charge every customer pays each month just to keep the meter live and connected. The rates below are for everything over 100/kwh

 Standard Offer – Supplier – THIS IS A PASS THROUGH CHARGE WHICH EMERA MAINE DOES NOT SET and has no control over.  Standard Offer Rate is negotiated by the PUC on behalf of customers who elect to not choose their own supplier = .08493/kwh

Note: this is the piece that went up effective March 1, 2014, an increase of 16%.  The increase was due, in part, to increased natural gas costs. Again, this is not an Emera Maine charge, simply a pass-through charge on our bill.  Customers who have selected their own supplier may see a slightly different rate here, although likely not a large difference.

 Transmission & Distribution (T&D) – this is the Emera Maine piece. This is a set rate approved by the MPUC. Stranded Cost is included in this charge for our Northern Region customers = .076292/kwh

Note: this rate has remained unchanged since July 1, 2013.  That was the date the transmission piece of the T&D increased slightly, which is set by FERC and not Emera Maine.  It is important to note that MPS customers have not seen a distribution rate increase since 2006.

For customers who heat their homes with electricity, either using heat pumps or baseboard, etc, Emera has a special heat rate for (.044678) for all kwh over 600/kwh.  If customers are not sure whether they are eligible for this rate or just want to confirm that they are, they can call Customer Service at (207) 973-2000.

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