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Maine's electricity prices rank 11th-highest in the country

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show that Maine customers pay an average of 13.02 cents per kilowatt hour.

Maine's average price for electricity ranks it 11th highest in the country, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

In New England, Maine's average price per kWh was the lowest

Connecticut: 17.55 cents per kWh

Massachusetts: 17.12

Rhode Island: 16.42

New Hampshire: 16.17

Vermont: 14.60

Maine: 13.02

In Maine, electricity generation (supply) and transmission (delivery) are two different services. The major companies that handle delivery are Central Maine Power and Emera Maine.

There are more than 70 options for suppliers, including well-known companies such as C.N. Brown Electric or Giroux Oil Service Company. Customers can buy electricity supply from one of these companies. If they do not choose one of these companies, they receive the "standard offer."

The standard offer is the rate that the Public Utilities Commission puts out for bids by other big electricity companies, such as NextEra or New Brunswick Power.

This year, the standard offer is about nine cents per kilowatt hour for Central Maine Power customers. It is about 8.4 cents for Emera Maine customers. 

Harry Lanphear with the PUC said that there is one common misconception: that CMP or Emera Maine is supplying the electricity, and getting paid for it.

He said that is not true. It is simply a pass-through.

The customers purchase the power through the larger companies, and CMP and Emera show that price on their bills. CMP and Emera are compensated for doing the billing on behalf of these companies, according to Lanphear.