You might be thinking this is an old story if you're familiar with the fact that it has been Maine policy for years that electric utilities like CMP cannot turn Maine resident's power off during the winter months, While this is true, new regulations have just been passed regarding disconnection notices.
According to News Center Maine, a law that Governor Janet Mills signed back in June of this year will prevent Maine's electric utility companies from sending out threatening disconnection notices during winter months in the Pine Tree State.
Lawmakers, including representative Seth Berry (D), believe that such notices are harmful and often times mislead the consumer. People who have fallen behind on their electric bills have received letters threatening disconnection if they fail to pay even in the winter. This has led to thousands of Mainers contacting the utilities and Maine Public Utilities Commission directly in search of answers. And though their power can't legally be disconnected in the winter time, the notices being sent out indicate that could still be the case in an effort to force payment.
The new law will punish utilities who send out notices with threatening verbiage in the winter months by fines of up to $2,500.00. Doug Herling, President and CEO of Central Maine Power said in part,
"Although we believe CMP's winter disconnection-related communications were technically accurate and met regulatory requirements, we should have communicated more clearly and more respectfully with customers about when and how they could be disconnected as a result of nonpayment."
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