PORTLAND, Maine — Statistics show Maine’s largest electric utility is shutting off the power to a record number of customers who haven’t paid their bills.

Last year Central Maine Power disconnected 29,554 homes of residents, an apparent record number.

That figure is up 60 percent over the 2007.

Officials say the disconnection activity at CMP is an indicator of the weak economy and the utility’s more aggressive efforts to collect unpaid bills.

Maine State Economist Amanda Rector says the high number of disconnections makes sense since the economy is doing poorly and the bills aren’t getting paid.

The Maine Sunday Telegram requested the shut-off statistics as a way to examine the relationship between power disconnections and the state’s economic health.