The Star-Herald

AARP opposes Emera rate increase request

To the editor:

Emera Maine, the second-largest electric utility company in our state, is once again seeking to raise electric rates for its customers. Despite receiving a massive corporate tax cut from taxpayers earlier this year, Emera Maine is still pushing for an increase in electric rates for the third time in five years. Since 2013, Emera’s rates have increased by over 12 percent. Their latest request for a rate increase is for an additional 4.5 percent. AARP Maine strongly opposes Emera Maine’s request.

For many Maine families, yet another increase in their rates will render their electricity unaffordable. This is especially so for older Mainers living on fixed incomes. Furthermore, Emera Maine’s coverage area includes some of the state’s most rural communities. AARP Maine believes that all residents have the right to accessible, affordable electricity and Emera Maine’s request is unreasonable and unfair. Many Mainers are struggling to make ends meet. Another increase of this magnitude could make the difference between their being able to afford electricity and having to go without.

Three public hearings have been scheduled, all at 6 p.m. on May 1, at the University of Maine in Machias, Orono and Presque Isle. Members of AARP Maine will attend each hearing and we encourage Emera Maine customers to join us and make their voices heard on this critical issue. We also encourage customers to sign our online petition to urge the Public Utilities Commission to deny Emera Maine’s rate hike request.  Visit www.aarp.org/me for more information or call 207-776-6303.

Emera Maine customers, raise your voice before they raise your rates. These hearings are your opportunity to fight against this utility giant’s unreasonable request to make you pay more for your electricity.  We look forward to seeing you on May 1.

Rich Livingston

AARP Maine Volunteer State President

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