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Source: US State of Maine

December 15, 2020

Case Seeks Public Input on Metrics

Hallowell, Maine – The Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) opened a case today to consider performance metrics and alternative regulatory mechanisms for Maine’s transmission and distribution (T&D) utilities. The ultimate goal is to develop metrics that will improve performance while controlling costs. The MPUC is soliciting information and input from any interested persons to assist in determining whether existing metrics and performance incentives should be revised, or new metrics adopted to better measure and motivate service quality improvements and customer service performance.

“Maine people deserve safe, reliable electricity at reasonable rates,” said MPUC Chairman Philip L. Bartlett II. This proceeding will enable us to explore ways to improve utility performance and how best to balance improved service and cost concerns.

Comments are requested in the following performance areas: 1) Service Reliability, Quality and Storm Restoration; 2) Customer Service; 3) Field Services to include the timely completion of field service orders; 4) Affordability and Cost Control; 5) Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Interconnection and Deployment; 6) Grid Modernization and Technologies; and 7) Energy and Environmental Policies.

In addition to these performance areas, the MPUC is seeking input on what other categories of performance should be explored and how they should be accomplished. The MPUC will also assess whether metrics should be adopted for consumer-owned utilities as well as investor-owned utilities.

We hope to get input from a wide range of stakeholders, said Bartlett. Recognizing that reliance on electricity is expected to grow dramatically in the coming years as more people use electricity to heat their homes and power their cars, this is an important opportunity to reexamine how best to align utility incentives with the needs of their customers.

Currently, Central Maine Power Company (CMP) and Versant Power (Versant) are both operating under Service Quality Indices (SQIs) with financial consequences associated with their performance. CMPs SQIs, determined in its most recent distribution rate case, are customer-service-focused and tied to a Commission finding of inadequate performance and a consequential downward adjustment to CMPs return on equity. Versants SQIs were determined in the recent approval of its reorganization and focus on both service reliability and customer service.

Initial comments are due by Thursday, February 18, 2021. Anyone wishing to file written comments may do so through the online filing system or by contacting the MPUC Clerk at 207-287-3831. Filings must include the docket number 2020-00344, name, address, phone and email. Letters sent through the mail should be addressed to the attention of the Administrative Director, MPUC, 18 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

About the Commission

The Maine Public Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, water and gas utilities to ensure that Maine citizens have access to safe and reliable utility service at rates that are just and reasonable for all ratepayers. Commission programs include Maine Enhanced 911 Service and Dig Safe. Philip L. Bartlett, II serves as Chairman, Bruce Williamson and Randall Davis serve as Commissioners.

Learn more about the Commission at www.maine.gov/mpuc


CONTACT: Susan Faloon, Media Liaison CELL: 207-557-3704 EMAIL: susan.faloon@maine.gov

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