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November 7, 2017

CMP has a month to submit preliminary storm costs to state regulators

Photo / Peter Van Allen
Photo / Peter Van Allen
A tree downed in the Oct. 30 storm blocks through traffic Monday morning on Route 88 in Yarmouth.

With approximately 3,000 customers still without power — out of 404,000 reported at the peak of last week's storm — Central Maine Power is beginning to tally the cost of having more than 3,000 line workers and tree-removal crews working 24/7 to restore power over the past week.

The Portland Press Herald reported that CMP has 30 days to submit to the Maine Public Utilities Commission its preliminary cost estimates for restoring service following the Oct. 30 storm. A final tally would be due by April 1. After the PUC reviews and approves CMP's power restoration figures, the costs ultimately would be picked up by ratepayers, in rates vetted and approved by the PUC that would take effect after July 1, the newspaper reported.

CMP spokesman John Carroll told the newspaper that the charges would apply only to CMP's labor and equipment costs and would not increase the utility's profit.

The Press Herald reported that last week's storm took out more than 1,400 of CMP's utility poles.

Carroll declined to speculate on what CMP's cost might be, but the newspaper reported that New Hampshire's largest power company, Eversource, estimated its storm damage could top $35 million to restore power for the 195,000 customers affected by last week's storm.

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