Here's what you need to know before changing your electricity supplier in Maine.
Chi Odogwu is a digital consultant, professor, and writer with over a decade of experience in finance and management consulting. He has a strong background in the private equity sector, having worked as a consultant at PwC and a research analyst at Renaissance Capital. Additionally, he has bylines in well-known publications, including Entrepreneur, Forbes, NextAdvisor, and CNET. He has also leveraged his writing talent to create educational email courses for his clients and ghostwritten op-eds published in top-tier publications such as Forbes, CoinDesk, CoinTelegraph, Insider, Decrypt, and Blockworks. In addition to his writing, education, and business pursuits, Chi hosts the top-rated Bulletproof Entrepreneur Podcast. Through this podcast, he engages in insightful conversations with talented individuals from various fields, allowing him to share a wealth of knowledge and inspiration with his listeners.
ExpertisePersonal Finance, Decentralized Finance, Energy, and Online Entrepreneurship.
Mainers have watched their electricity costs steadily rise in recent years to one of the highest residential electricity rates in the nation.
The average price of electricity in the Pine Tree State was approximately 28.67 cents per kilowatt-hour as of April 2023, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration. The average electric bill that month was $158.60, the third highest in the nation.
But in Maine, as in more than a dozen other states, you aren't limited to a take-it-or-leave-it price from the utility company. Maine's electricity market is deregulated, meaning you have the option to decide who supplies your electricity -- and the rate you pay.
The table below shows the current price to compare -- the standard rate available from your utility company -- and the price range of options available through Choose Energy, which is owned by the same parent company as CNET.
All rates displayed are accurate as of Aug. 22, 2023, for the ZIP codes listed with each utility. CNET staff regularly update these rates but they may have changed since the last update. For the most current rate information in your area, enter your ZIP code at choosenergy.com. These rates only represent the supply charges, not the utility's delivery charges or any taxes.
Electricity rates in Maine
Utility's price to compare (cents per kWh)
Price to compare valid through
Choose Energy price options (cents per kWh)
Dec. 31, 2023
13.29 - 15.69
Dec. 31, 2023
17.89 - 20.39
Deregulation in Maine: What does that mean?
While deregulation can vary slightly from state to state, the core idea is to grant customers the power to choose their electricity supplier. Christine Ciavardini, a client relationship manager at MD Energy Advisors, a Baltimore-based energy consulting firm, notes that Maine has had a deregulated energy policy since 2000.
The Maine legislature created a set of rules and regulations to govern the licensing of competitive electricity providers. These rules are designed to protect consumer rights and enforce punitive measures on companies that do not comply.
Maine utility vs. electric supplier
While you can't switch your utility company, you can probably choose your electricity or natural gas supplier. (The exception is if you're served by an electric cooperative.)
These three companies are responsible for delivering and maintaining the energy infrastructure in the state. However, since the state has a deregulated energy policy, residential and commercial customers can choose their electricity suppliers based on their unique circumstances and preferences.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission maintains a list of registered electricity suppliers. Customers can compare energy suppliers based on pricing plans, contract terms and customer service.
What types of electricity plans are offered in Maine?
Electric plans come with either fixed rates or variable rates, and each carries some risk.
With a fixed-rate plan, you'll be locked in at that rate even if the market rate drops and cheaper plans become available, Ciavardini said. With variable rate plans, you face the prospect of paying potentially higher rates if market prices rise.
How do you find the best electricity rates in Maine?
Ciavardini said these websites also detail information like early termination fees and contract termination procedures.
What should you look for when choosing an electricity plan in Maine?
Here are some tips and advice to help you navigate the choices:
Evaluate your energy needs: Assess your energy consumption habits to determine if you're a light or heavy electricity user. A fixed-rate, long-term plan might work best for heavy electricity users, while a variable-rate or time-of-use plan might benefit people who don't use too much electricity.
Contract terms: Always read and review the fine print, so that there are no surprises. Watch out for any early termination language and other terms and conditions that might be unreasonable.
Termination method: Some providers have specific methods of termination, which, if not followed, can result in penalties.
Look beyond the price: There might be hidden costs or nuances that aren't directly related to the energy price but can affect the final costs.
How to make the switch in Maine?
Switching utility suppliers is pretty simple, Ciavardini said. You contact the new supplier and they'll usually initiate the process with your current provider and make the switch. Your utility company will verify with you that you know about the change, making sure you weren't switched without your consent.
Maine electricity FAQs
Who is the cheapest electricity supplier in Maine?
It depends on a variety of factors. A simple online search is enough for most residential customers to find and compare the rates of different suppliers. Commercial customers will get rates based on a supplier's assessment of their load profile.