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CMP files annual request to recoup 'unexpected' costs

Central Maine Power filed their annual Maine PUC request to recoup revenue shortfalls due to many challenges. This is the first of many steps in the process

AUGUSTA, Maine — Central Maine Power is asking the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) to approve a rate hike to recover costs from five major storms in 2020. 

The company filed the annual request with the Maine Public Utilities Commission, asking to boost rates by $26.5 million to offset the 'unexpected expenses' of 2020. That proposal will be reviewed and other factors considered before July 1, when any change would take effect. 

CMP’s requested increase for the distribution portion of monthly bills is nearly 9.6%, or a little less than $3 per month for the average bill, the company said.

CMP is asking that the proposed rate increase be stretched over three years to mitigate the impact on customers.

CMP Spokesperson Catharine Hartnett told NEWS CENTER Maine, "Every June CMP makes an annual rate adjustment recommendation based on previous years’ costs and upcoming year costs for transmission rate changes to take effect July 1, that essentially true-up revenue and expenses.'

Hartnett stressed this not out of the ordinary and an annual event. She said this is only the first step in a much larger process that will conclude in June. 

FULL CENTRAL MAINE POWER RATE INCREASE FILING

Susan Faloon, media liaison for MPUC, confirmed CMP submits a compliance filing to recoup costs every year. 

In the proposal to MPUC, which was filed on March 31, 2021, CMP cites five major storms in 2020: April 9, August 4, September 30, November 30, and December 5. 

CMP explains in the proposal that in light of the "expensive storm activity," CMP is proposing the cost recovery provisions, which are designed to mitigate the rate impacts to customers, they say.

"CMP believes that this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between minimizing near-term bill impacts and creating long-term deferrals that may create pricing challenges in the future," the proposal states. "However, the Company is willing to discuss cost recovery timing alternatives proposed by Commission Staff and intervenors as this case proceeds."

Versant Power has also requested similar rate adjustments. 

If approved, any rate change would take effect on July 1.