Electricity consumers in Maine have had a choice of who supplies their electricity since 2000. Whether you're moving to a new home, or looking for a cheaper rate for your power, we've got everything you need to know about your electricity service in Maine here!
What Deregulation Means for You
Deregulation of the electricity market in Maine means that you have a choice of energy supplier. This means:
- Greater choice of energy supplier
- Wider price options - choose a floating price, lock in a fixed price, or choose green energy
- Competition among suppliers, leading to lower prices and better customer service
What has not changed with deregulation is the operation of energy infrastructure. Your local utility still owns, operates, and maintains distribution network for electricity. The power you receive will be the same, regardless of who supplies it. The same thing goes for interruptions or the quality of the electrical current you receive - in short, nothing changes but the price when you switch suppliers!
Starting Electricity Service in Maine
Getting electricity service started in your name in Maine is easy! Simply call your local utility and provide them with the following information:
- Your full name and contact information (phone number, email address)
- The full address of where you would like service
- The date for service
- Some government-issued identification, such as your Social Security Number or drivers license number
You can also call us at 1 (347) 410-8789. We can get your electricity service started, and help you find the best rate for your electricity available on the market!
Choosing a Competitive Retail Electricity Supplier in Maine
If you live in the service areas of Emera Maine or Central Maine Power, you have a choice of who provides your electricity. However, sreater choice and wider energy options can make shopping for energy overwhelming at first. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Deregulation has brought you choice not only in who supplies your electricity, but also what kind of price you pay for it. If you purchase electricity from your utility, you are paying the "Standard Offer Service", which is a variable rate that changes every month and is based on the utility's costs of procuring supply.
However, if you choose to purchase your electricity from a competitive supplier, you have the option of locking in a fixed price. In general, we recommend choosing a fixed price for your electricity if you have the option - find out why.
Competitive Retail Electricity Suppliers in Maine
If you're shopping for electricity, it's a good idea to check out the offers of at least four or five retail suppliers before narrowing down. We also recommend checking out what current customers are saying about electricity suppliers in your area.
Contract Terms and Conditions
There are a few things you should look out for when you're reading the terms of your electricity supply contract:
Early Cancellation Fees?
Also known as "early exit fees" or "termination fees", this is a charge for leaving your (usually fixed price) contract before the end of its term.
Automatic Service Renewal
You should always check what your chosen retail energy supplier's policy is for when your contract comes to an end. Some suppliers will automatically switch you back to the utility, while others will automatically renew you.
It's a good idea to check out how much of a late payment fee your chosen supplier charges, though you should always contact them to see if you can make a special payment arrangement if you cannot pay your bill on time.
It's a good idea to be aware of the various ways that you can get in touch with your energy supplier, as a general rule.
While rewards such as free thermostats or air miles should never be your first reason for choosing an energy supplier, they don't hurt either! Competitive energy suppliers often partner with other companies to offer you additional benefits and rewards, which is something that your utility can't do.
Understand Your Electricity Bills in Maine
Your electricity bill can be broken down into three main types of charges:
- Charges related to your energy supply: covers the cost of the electricity you have consumed over the previous month.
- Charges to cover the costs of transportation: this covers the costs of transmission and distribution along high- and low-voltage wires
- Taxes and state surcharges: these may be flat sums, or variable (based on how much power you have consumed in a month)
How Your Electricity Service Works in Maine
The process of delivering electricity to your home can be broken down into four main steps:
The first step of the process of bringing power to your home is to generate it. In Maine, the electricity generation mix is is dominated by renewable sources, primarily hydroelectricity, biomass, and wind, though natural gas also provides accounts for about 1/5 of Maine's electricity generation.
As most electricity generation facilities are located in remote areas, power is transported over high-voltage transmission lines to local distribution networks.
The third step in the process of bringing electricity to your home is when it reaches the local distribution network. At this stage power is transformed into a lower voltage, and travels along local wires to your home. Your local utility is responsible for this step, regardless of who your electricity supplier is
The final stage of this process is when energy reaches your home. You are billed for your energy supply by either your utility or your chosen electricity supplier.
Got a question about your power supply in Maine? Give us a call at 1 (347) 410-8789 to find out your best options