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Post-election confusion remains regarding ME utility rates

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Friday, November 10, 2023   

The proposal to create a public owned electric power utility in Maine was defeated but the confusion surrounding electricity rates remains.

A series of free upcoming workshops aims to help older Mainers better understand their electric bills and advocate for lower rates.

Alf Anderson, associate state director of advocacy and outreach for AARP Maine, said the election showed everyone has a stake in the future of Maine's utility prices.

"There was a lot of disinformation, confusing information, things that people just didn't know they didn't know," Anderson explained. "We're really hoping to offer that baseline understanding to people."

The first workshop takes place Nov. 14 at the University of Southern Maine and will include representatives from CMP, Versant and the Office of the Public Advocate. Online registration is required.

Maine has some of the highest residential electricity rates in the nation and combined with higher housing and food prices, many older Mainers are having to make tough choices regarding their basic needs.

Anderson hopes people will attend the workshops to learn how to advocate for themselves and their neighbors at the statehouse or from their own homes.

"Those are the main ways that we really want to encourage people to become active and realize they're not a bystander in this issue," Anderson emphasized. "There is a way to help shape the future of electricity rates in the state."

Anderson added people want to better understand the basic charges on monthly utility bills and how rates are computed. Workshops will also take place next week at the Bangor and Auburn Public Libraries.

Disclosure: AARP Maine contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Health Issues, Senior Issues, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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