The Prospect Avenue substation during construction. Projects like this have led to increased electricity rates for customers throughout Maine. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Electric rate increase approved

BANGOR — An adjustment to the electrical distribution rate charged by Emera Maine has been approved by the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) after consideration of a rate case brought before the commission earlier this year.

Following the commission’s order, customers will see an increase of about $1.10 per month in the Bangor Hydro District for a typical residential customer using 500 kilowatt hours.

“The company appreciates the hard work of all the parties involved in our case,” Emera President Alan Richardson said in a statement. “We take very seriously the service quality concerns that were raised [in the rate case]. We are absolutely committed to addressing them, improving our service to our customers, and have already begun to do so.”

Distribution is the part of the electrical system that carries electricity on poles and wires from the higher voltage Transmission system to homes and businesses. The adjustment to rates will help to cover investments Emera Maine has made in maintenance and reliability in order to provide a safe and reliable system for its customers, representatives said.

Increases in distribution rates have lagged inflation for several years; after the increase, the cost of Emera’s distribution service will still be lower than it was in 2007.

Investments Emera Maine has made include improving infrastructure that supports a growing community and economy in Bar Harbor, operational efficiencies through facility improvements and replacing an end-of-life system that houses critical customer information.

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