In this Oct. 6, 2021, file photo, Central Maine Power utility lines are seen in Pownal. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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When you’re living on a fixed income, every day expenses can loom large. Mainers try to budget for the unexpected, but when things like utility bills surge, it’s hard to keep up. In Maine, electricity rates have been soaring. I’m sure this hasn’t gone unnoticed by anyone with a home whether large or small. Paying for heat this winter has been difficult at best, and Mainers are worried more rate hikes are coming.

The Legislature is considering a bill, LD 318, which would supposedly provide better options to electric service customers. However, I want to encourage our state legislators to please take another look at the measure before signing it into law. As written, the bill would open up our electric utility marketplace and beckon out-of-state providers to participate. The research I’ve found suggests that this will raise rates yet again. We cannot absorb another unreasonable rate increase.

It seems to me policies that could potentially affect Mainers in a potentially negative way ought to be discussed openly so we know that the right course is being taken. If there is doubt about unintended consequences associated with LD 318, then they should be addressed before passing the bill into law.

The bottom line is Mainers don’t need a bill that comes from the retail utilities providers. We need legislation generated with those of us who pay in mind.

Paul L. Armstrong