Maine Residents, Who Pay Some Of The Nation's Highest Energy Costs, To Get Some Relief Next Year

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Electricity rates are set to drop in Maine, which historically has had some of the nation's highest energy costs.

Next year's standard offer rates will drop 35% for Central Maine Power customers and 24% for Versant Power customers, the Maine Public Utilities Commission said in a statement Wednesday. The standard offer rate is the default rate for most customers.

The rate decrease comes after several years of price hikes and is welcome news for Maine consumers, said Philip Bartlett II, the commission's chair. He attributed the price cut to a drop in natural gas prices and said the reduction “provides some much-needed relief from increasing costs due to inflation.”

Maine typically has high energy costs in part because of its cold weather and reliance on oil heating. Maine residents are still dealing with soaring energy costs, as the reduction still leaves the standard offer nearly 80% higher than it was two years ago, Maine House Republicans said in a statement.

Senate Republican Leader Trey Stewart said in a statement that the state “should have seen a steeper decline in rates.”