Retail Unbundling - Maine

Status: The state has no unbundled services for residential customers but is considering action.

Overview: Maine began the process of restructuring its natural gas industry in the late 1990s. The state legislature modified the public utility commission's (PUC) authority in 1998. Legislation was enacted in 1999 (P.L. 1999, ch. 143) that requires gas marketers to register with the PUC and requires the PUC to consider the need for rules on supplier licensing and "any other subject of natural gas unbundling that requires additional regulation." On June 4, 1999, the PUC initiated a proceeding, "Inquiry into Natural Gas Competition and Unbundling Issues, Docket No. 99-342." The inquiry was suspended in late 1999, although the PUC noted in a recent order (April 18, 2001, Docket 2000-587) that the inquiry will be reactivated "if market conditions warrant."

EIA State Profile: In 2000, the natural gas market consisted of 17,111 residential customers, 6,954 commercial customers, and 176 industrial customers. They consumed 1 billion cubic feet (Bcf), 2.7 Bcf, and 3.9 Bcf of natural gas, respectively. The average prices paid for natural gas purchased from local distribution companies by residential, commercial and industrial customers were $9.71, $6.06, and $4.10 per thousand cubic feet, respectively. The average city gate price in the state was $5.30 per thousand cubic feet.

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File Last modified: 06/19/2002