Customers in the former Maine Public Service territory of Emera Maine are set to see an about 8 percent drop in one portion of their electric bill as of the start of the year.

The company’s delivery costs dropped because of continuing declines in “stranded cost” charges, mostly a remnant of Maine splitting power generation companies and transmission and distribution companies in 2000.

For the average residential customer, the delivery portion of residential bills will drop about $6.35 per month.

That comes as the cost for electricity went up in Maine Public Service’s territory last year. The territory includes Aroostook and a small portion of Penobscot counties. The standard offer prices for power went up about 15 percent last year, to about 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour from 7.3 cents per kilowatt hour. That price applies to residential customers through March 2017.

The standard offer for the state’s largest investor-owned utilities will change again March 1, with bids now out and price details expected this month.

Emera serves 37,320 customers in its Maine Public Service division and another 124,244 in its Bangor Hydro Electric division, as of November.

The utility also announced in a news release it will cut seasonal distribution rates for commercial and industrial customers, which the company said would mean a reduction of about $50.93 during the winter months and an increase of $4.92 during summer months for a customer using 1,500 kilowatt-hours of power per month.

The company said the decline in stranded costs will largely negate the summertime increases for industrial and commercial customers from scrapping the seasonal program.

Industrial electricity supply rates using the standard offer also went up last year, set at 11.1 cents per kilowatt hour until March 2015, changing to 8.8 cents per kilowatt hour from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 and then 8.6 cents per kilowatt hour from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.

Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.