Low-Income Mainers May Soon See a $90 Credit on One Electric Bill
The Mills' administration has requested that the PUC give a one-time credit to low-income residents on their electric bills.
Maine residents recently noticed an increase in the amount they're paying monthly for electricity. That increase was approved by the Maine Public Utilities Commission in November, with equal rate percentages for both Versant and Central Maine Power customers. Average residential customers were told to expect their bills to increase by about $30 a month. It's important to note that the extra money is not going to Versant or CMP, but is going to the supply of electricity. The two Maine providers are responsible only for the transmission and distribution of power.
What's the Proposal?
Now, Gov. Janet Mills and the Maine Public Advocate are asking the Maine PUC to provide low-income residents with a one-time $90 credit on their electric bills, to offset that rate hike. Mills says the state's dependence on fossil fuels, especially natural gas, is having a 'disproportionate impact' on low-income residents.
This program can deliver meaningful relief to those who need it most as we examine other ways we can tackle this growing burden.
The bill credit would affect approximately 90,000 Maine households and would cover the increase for three months.
Who Will Get the Credit?
Qualifying residents would have a household income at or below 150% of federal poverty guidelines. Utilities will identify households that should receive the credit with the assistance of Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
When Can We Expect to See the Credit On our Bills?
The timing of this is dependent on when, or even if, the Maine Public Utilities Commission approves the proposal. It was filed on Wednesday, February 9th. You can read the filing on the Maine PUC website.