AUGUSTA (WGME) – There is increasing confusion about electric disconnect notices from Central Maine Power during these cold winter days.
The chairman of the Maine Public Utilities Commission said in a letter to a Maine lawmaker that an electric utility is allowed to disconnect service during the winter period but that the MPUC must approve it.
The letter from MPUC Chairman Phil Bartlett was sent to Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, after Berry sent him a list of questions.
While Bartlett did not answer most of the questions because of two pending investigations into CMP, he did provide clarification about winter disconnections.
Berry asked why CMP is allowed to threaten customers with a specific disconnection date before the commission has even approved it?
“If you get a notice from CMP that they’re going to disconnect your power on X date, it’s basically a lie and it’s unfortunate they’re trying to intimidate people using that kind of scare tactic,” he said.
Bartlett didn’t answer that question specifically but last week the MPUC said that notice is allowed.
Other notices, which say CMP can disconnect without MPUC approval, are inaccurate and misleading, he said.
CMP said the notices in question were destroyed and replaced last fall.
The MPUC initiated an investigation into those notices and were expected to decide Tuesday if it will proceed with an investigation.