Maine Committee Recommends Not Passing Bill Ending Residential Electric Choice
Tables Bill Banning Door-to-Door Electricity Marketing, For Further Development
Work Session Includes Suggestion To License "People At The Door"
PUC Oversight Of Retail Supplier Rates, Capping At SOS Also Considered
February 7, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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Maine's joint Committee On Energy, Utilities and Technology yesterday voted 8-1 to recommend "ought not to pass" LD 1917, a bill which would completely prohibit residential electric choice, and place all residential customers on Standard Offer service, no later than January 1, 2022
State Sen. David Miramant said that what is needed is enforcement of current regulations against bad actors, rather than the proposed complete prohibition on residential electric choice
Some committee members asked that the committee consider a "resolve" (a formal statement of legislative intent which does not amend statute) or a letter to the PUC asking that the PUC further study the issue of whether electric choice is working and to report to the legislature. The request for a study is to be included in the committee's minority report on the bill
The committee also tabled LD 1853 which would provide that electric suppliers serving residential customers, "May not solicit residential consumers using door-to-door sales practices."
Committee members expressed first amendment concerns with the bill, and asked the Office of Public Advocate, with input from all stakeholders, to offer alternatives to a complete ban on door-to-door marketing
Among the potential alternatives to a ban offered by one committee member was licensing the, "people at the door"
Allowing only direct employees of a retail supplier to engage in door-to-door was also raised as a possibility
Another potential alternative raised was limiting retail electric supplier plans to rates that are at or under the Standard Offer (or, for a renewable plan, the green Standard Offer). Alternatively, rates in excess of the Standard Offer could be permitted if reviewed by the PUC