Sharon Reishus,
Chair, Maine PUC
 
Augusta, ME, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- February 3, 2010 - The Maine Public Utilities Commission has approved Central Maine Power Company's proposal to invest in advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), finding that the program's benefits outweigh its costs.

The Maine PUC found that the new infrastructure will ultimately reduce utility operating costs, improve customer service, help with storm restoration efforts and provide customers with the tools they need to use energy more efficiently.

“This proposal to modernize CMP's metering system is reasonably likely to save CMP customers $25 million over 20 years just in operational savings,” said PUC chair Sharon Reishus in a statement.

CMP recently won a $96 million federal grant to install smart meters for all of its residential, commercial and industrial customers. However, union officials have expressed concern that the plan will result in layoffs.

The PUC requested that CMP make “all reasonable effort” to help laid-off workers through early retirement and job retraining, and asked for a workforce reduction plan from the company before the AMI program is launched.

The program is expected to cost about $190 million. The PUC’s decision follows a public hearing on the issue last month.