How Are Prices Determined?
The prices, practices, and level of profitability are regulated primarily by the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The PUC was created by Maine law and began work in 1914. Its three commissioners were nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Maine Senate.
The Commissioners are assisted by legal, technical, financial and consumer-assistance staff. PUC proceedings use court-like standards of evidence, procedure and decisions that allow opportunities for interested citizens or groups to participate as formal interveners in the process.
Our transmission prices are determined by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
- The distribution piece covers the costs of local power lines, meter readers, and bucket trucks. For most customers, this makes up the majority of their delivery price.
- The transmission piece covers the costs of large power lines and substations and is regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
- The stranded cost piece covers costs of power contracts with small hydro, biomass, waste-burning and nuclear plants that were left over from before we became a delivery-only utility (we ceased selling energy when that part of the electric business was de-regulated in March 2000). Stranded costs continue to decline.
- The conservation assessment piece funds energy efficiency initiatives.
- The Electricity Lifeline Program (ELP) provides assistance to residential customers who qualify for the Home Energy Assistance Program.
There are five components that make up a delivery price. The PUC separately sets the five pieces that make up our delivery prices.