New Rates For Versant Customers Effective July 1st

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 10:24 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -

After an 84% Rate Increase for Electricity earlier this year and recent volatility in global energy prices, Versant Power has released new rates for the ratepayers in Aroostook County. Brian Bouchard has the story.

“Versant is a cost of service utility, that means that it costs us to deliver the electricity that’s how the rates are set” says Stephen Johnston – Manager of Sales and Revenues for Versant Power

When the increase in electricity rates was announced last December, it was stated there would be an 84% increase on the supplier side of Versant ratepayers electricity bills under the Standard Offer Price set by the public utilities commission. However, an electric bill is made up of many other components, such as transmission, distribution, conservation and stranded costs. Combined with the supply rate these rates make up your total rate for electricity. The total rate for electricity from January 1st to June 30th for customers in the Maine Public District was 0.209411 cents per kilowatt hour.

“Every year, Versant Power holds an open meeting with its customers around the end of June in the Presque Isle area, and what we do is talk about how rates are changing year over year, what’s driving those changes and how our customers would be affected” - Judy Long – Communications Manager, Versant Power

WAGM previously aired a report investigating an announced 3.5% decrease in delivery prices in regards to Stranded Costs. WAGM reached out to Versant for comment, the company responded stating they are still working on the total impact of other rate changes and could not speak specifically on the decrease until the announced customer meeting on June 28th. Judy Long, Communications Manager from Versant Power says some customers would see a decrease in their rates effective July 1st.

“This year we’re thankful that overall impact of rate changes is going to mean that most customers pay less year over year than they did before, and that’s because of the benefits of renewable energy contracts that the state assigned to versant power that we’ve been able to sell at prices above what the contracts came in at because of the current high prices of energy. We actually are able to return some benefit back to customers.” says Long.

During the customer meeting, Versant presented the rate changes that customers would see effective July 1st. Supply Rates will not change until next year. Transmission Rates saw a 37% increase from earlier this year. Stranded Costs saw a 306% decrease. The Conservation Rate saw a 13% decrease, and the Distribution rate remained unchanged. Combined with the Supply rate, total rates for residential ratepayers comes out to 0.20817 cents per kilowatt hour, just over a 10th of a penny difference, or what amounts to a 0.59% decrease in electricity bills. The average electric usage in the state ranges from 500 to 900 kwh per month, using 900 kwh per month as an example, the total change in rates equates to a decrease of 1 dollar and 12 cents off your electricity bill.

“We always have a conversation with customers here that help us to understand what their needs are and we show them what we’re doing to keep providing that safe and reliable service.” says Long.

Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8

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