Emile Clavet, co-owner of Electricity Maine, joined five other business and energy sector leaders to discuss rising energy costs and the impact on businesses across the region. The event hosted by the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce included representatives from Central Maine Power, Optimal Energy Group, U Source Energy Advisors and Hahnel Bros.
“There are a host of reasons for the spike in energy prices, many of those factors are out of our immediate control”, said Clavet. “What every business owner and operations manager needs to know is the process for setting rates, what the triggers are for increases, and how to plan for those changes.”
The October 22 panel discussion was brought on by warnings from the Maine Public Utilities Commission and other Government officials citing that electricity rates for medium size businesses will see a sharp increase. The Standard Offer rate in Central Maine Power’s territory for its business class will rise from 6 cents/kWh in October 2014 up to 15 cents/kWh in January, 2015.
Energy rates are also on the rise in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, where Electricity Maine’s sister companies operate as is part of ENH Power (in New Hampshire) and Provider Power Mass.
In Massachusetts, National Grid recently announced their residential rates would be 37% higher than last winter. In New Hampshire, Liberty and Unitil customers will see an increase in their electricity supply rates greater than 40%.
A common theme among the presenters was that businesses across New England need to take pro-active steps to mitigate the rising cost of power. At a minimum they should:
- Review the Market – Public Advocates in many states are encouraging businesses (and residential) customers to review the competitive electricity supply landscape.
- Increase Energy Efficiency Efforts & Take Advantage of Energy Efficiency Rebates – Efficiency Maine has discounts and rebates on high-efficiency lights as well as financial incentives that will speed the payback on new equipment installations.
- Manage Time of Operation – when possible shift operations to non peak hours.
Provider Power, one of New England’s largest electricity supply companies was recently recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the nations fastest growing companies.