AUGUSTA, Maine — Central Maine Power (CMP) has agreed to stop sending service disconnection notices temporarily, CMP said in a statement Wednesday.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission is reviewing CMP’s disconnection notices after several customers complained they had been notified they were scheduled for disconnection due to nonpayment during the winter moratorium.
“As a matter of fairness to all CMP customers, it is important to make every effort to collect on delinquent accounts, CMP President and CEO Doug Herling said. "However, the language in our communications should reflect who we aspire to be as a company, and we must always be respectful of our customers’ needs and challenges. We should treat customers as friends and neighbors.”
CMP will review these communications in keeping with its recently announced “Power On” campaign in which the company has focused on instituting meaningful change inside the company as a reflection of its commitment to customers.
“Although we believe CMP’s winter disconnection-related communications were technically accurate and met regulatory requirements, we should have communicated more clearly and more respectfully with customers about when and how they could be disconnected as a result of nonpayment,” Herling said.
Maine PUC regulations generally prohibit electric utilities from disconnecting residential customers for nonpayment during the winter moratorium (Nov. 15 to April 15) without permission from the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
However, if a customer has not responded to multiple collection attempts, including mailed notices, at least two phone calls, and a residential visit, CMP may perform what is known as a “cycle disconnection” during the winter moratorium without PUC approval. A cycle disconnection is a daytime-only disconnection that can be done under certain weather and occupancy conditions.
The company encourages any customer who has questions about bills or is having difficulty making payments, to visit cmpco.com or call 800.750.4000 to learn more about available assistance so they can continue to receive reliable CMP service all year round.