In 2000, the state of Maine officially passed a bill that deregulated the energy market in much of the state. Thanks to this initiative, more than 60% of residents living in Maine now reside in deregulated portions of the state, meaning they have the power to choose where their electricity service comes from.
There are now dozens of retail energy providers throughout Maine who offer homes and businesses with electricity rates and plans to choose from. With deregulation in place, residents are able to find a provider, and a rate, that fits their budget and their needs.
When deregulation took effect in the state, more than 800,000 residents were given this power to choose. These residents reside in one of the two deregulated utilities in Maine:
Emera Maine – This utility covers Washington, Piscatquis, Aroostok and Hancock County as well as a majority of Penobscot County.
Central Maine – This utility services 11,000 square miles of central and southern
Maine, including Portland, Farmington, Belfast, Brunswick, Fairfield and Alfred.
These two utilities are also home to dozens of independent retail suppliers. Customers who decide to move their electric service to one of these providers will find they are able to switch companies without experiencing any interruption in their service.
While many have already made the switch to a new provider, there are thousands of residents in Maine who still remain disinterested (or confused) regarding deregulation.
Consumers who live in the deregulated portion of the state who never switched to an independent provider simply had their service stay with their local utility. These individuals may be overpaying, or missing out on key benefits with their monthly electricity service — though rates may be better sticking with their local utility. It’s best for each energy consumer to research the rates and plans available to them and make the best decision for his or her home and/or business.
Deregulation not only means that many Maine residents have the power to choose their preferred energy provider, but this effort has also brought new energy opportunities to the area. Thanks to deregulation, residents in the state now have the opportunity to make more energy efficient choices by choosing energy options from renewable resources.