The utilities that make millions in profit each year are pouring that money into our elections to mislead Mainers. We know that CMP & Versant cannot be trusted. They’ve consistently overpromised and underdelivered — with reliability, new meters, new billing, and clean energy. Pine Tree Power is building power we can trust. That’s why we want to help you sort through misinformation, answer your questions, and help you spread the word!
How much will Pine Tree Power cost?
Pine Tree Power doesn’t cost Mainers, it saves Mainers money from day one. Over 30 years Mainers will save $367 each year. That’s $9 billion over 30 years! Independent, unpaid, Maine economists are confident that this is the right choice for our state. But how are we able to save if we have to buy the grid from CMP & Versant? Think of it like a mortgage. You can save money by buying a home with a low-cost mortgage rather than a high rent. CMP & Versant are raising the rents at every turn. Pine Tree Power is the smartest way forward.
Will taxpayers have to pay for Pine Tree Power?
Taxpayers will not pay a cent for Pine Tree Power. The citizen initiative explicitly clarifies that there is “no use of state funds or tax dollars.”
How long will it take to switch utilities?
We can be free of CMP & Versant in just 4 years! By the fall of 2027, we expect to be saving money, controlling our own grid, and reducing outages. The ballot initiative lays out a clear, legal process for the transfer of power that protects Maine ratepayers. After we choose Pine Tree Power’s board, they make an offer to CMP & Versant. If CMP & Versant don’t accept, the utilities have 30 days to develop a counter offer. If an agreement cannot be met through negotiations, a purchase price will be decided through a refereed process in Maine courts. This ensure that Mainers are getting the best possible deal.
How do we know Pine Tree Power will be able to run the grid?
Transitioning to a consumer-owned utility is a solution that has been used across the country. You can read more of those successes here. Pine Tree Power also wants to be sure Mainers have the best quality service. That’s why the bill clarifies that the new utility board will bring in a contractor to run high level operations. On the ground work will be done by the same incredible workers who will have the opportunity to keep their jobs with the new company. Bringing in this expertise is a small price to pay for excellent service. Independent estimates show that the this operations team will cost less than half of CMP’s yearly profits.
Will Pine Tree Power be able to meet our clean energy goals?
Pine Tree Power is the only way to meet our clean energy goals! As of 2018, there were just six U.S. communities whose electricity was 100% renewable (Greensburg, Kansas; Georgetown, Texas; Kodiak Island, Alaska; Rock Port, Missouri; Aspen, Colorado; and Burlington, Vermont). What do they have in common? All six have consumer-owned utilities. Part of what makes Pine Tree Power crucial is that Maine needs a huge expansion of the grid in order to electrify our homes and cars. As a nonprofit, Pine Tree Power qualifies for low-cost financing roughly half that of CMP and Versant. This means any time we invest in the grid with Pine Tree Power, we’re getting huge savings!
How do I know Pine Tree Power will work for me?
CMP and Versant have rightfully made Mainers hesitant to trust a utility. Pine Tree Power has many more safeguards for consumers. To start, unlike CMP and Versant, whose job it is to serve their distant owners and make a profit, Pine Tree Power’s goal will be to serve Mainers. That’s the beauty of owning our utility! Our interests are aligned. Second, we will have a direct way to hold Pine Tree Power accountable. We will choose its board! Third, the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will still have authority to regulate Pine Tree Power. This is rare with consumer-owned utilities, because their interests are so much more aligned with their customers. It just isn’t necessary. For Mainers, Pine Tree Power wanted to build trust and be held to the highest standards of accountability!