Compare the Most Energy-Efficient Window Companies 2023
By Dan Simms /
Here’s a quick overview of Maine electricity rates:
Figures accurate as of time of publication.
Each product and or company featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
It might seem like a simple task to find the best electricity rates in Maine, but the best plan for you is based on more than just the price per kilowatt-hour. Below, we’ll discuss two additional factors that are crucial to consider that can have a major impact on how well a certain power plan suits you.
Many Maine residents fail to consider their average monthly energy usage when choosing an electric supplier, but this can make a big difference in how suited a plan is to your home. Many utility companies use a tiered plan for energy, which means you’re charged differently for electricity based on how much you use. Normally, these plans are most affordable and most appropriate for residential customers who use around the average amount of energy, or 570 kWh per month in Maine. If you use well above or below that amount, a tiered plan might not be best for you.
The time at which you consume energy is also important. If you know that you consume most of your energy during off-peak hours, a time-of-use (TOU) plan might work better for you and offer more energy savings. Prices are typically regulated by the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC).
The contract length is another factor that many Mainers fail to consider. Fixed-rate energy plans typically include a contract term, which means you’re locked into a specific energy price for the entire length of the contract. Longer contract periods typically come with lower per-kWh prices, but some electricity customers don’t like contracts because they limit their freedom of energy choice for some period of time.
You should also review your contract for additional stipulations and terms, including early- termination fees, sign-up fees and introductory rates that could change over the contract term. If you’re not sure which energy plan is right for you, you can use this EcoWatch tool or click below to help you narrow down your options.
There are a few different types of energy plan you’ll come across when searching for a new electric supplier. While options are great, the terminology can be overwhelming. Below, we’ll discuss the different electricity plans in Maine to help demystify some of the options you have.
Fixed-rate plans include a single rate that you’ll pay per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the entire length of your contract. This is favorable to many people because it provides peace of mind that you won’t see unexpected rate increases during times of high demand. We generally suggest fixed-rate plans for all homeowners, although it’s important to know when your contract ends, as fixed-rate plans can sometimes automatically turn into variable-rate plans at the end of the contract period.
Some homeowners get confused by the fixed rate and think their monthly bills will never change. That’s not the case because only the rate per kWh is fixed. If you use more kilowatt-hours in a given month, your energy bill will be higher.
|Pros of a Fixed-Rate Energy Plan||Cons of a Fixed-Rate Energy Plan|
|Your rate per kWh will never increase||Can’t take advantage of decrease if local electricity rates dip|
|Helpful for budgeting since you’ll always know what you’ll be charged for energy||Most fixed-rate plans have a mandatory contract term and early cancellation fees|
Variable-rate plans have a variable per-kWh rate rather than a fixed one. The rate is based on local energy prices, which are influenced primarily by electricity supply and demand. While variable-rate plans can sometimes provide more energy savings than fixed-rate options, they can also spike unexpectedly if energy supply dips or demand increases or during a time of crisis.
Variable-rate plans typically don’t require a contract, so they don’t have early-termination fees. We’ll include some pros and cons of these plans in the table below.
|Pros of a Variable-Rate Energy Plan||Cons of a Variable-Rate Energy Plan|
|Energy rates can be lower than fixed-rate plans if local prices are low||Electricity costs can rise during high demand or times of crisis|
|Most don’t require contracts or have early-termination fees||You could end up spending more on energy if local prices are higher than the fixed-rate prices|
Many energy plans in the State of Maine require some type of up-front payment for activation, which is a hedge against losses from non-paying customers. If you’re looking to avoid a deposit and can pass a credit check, a no-deposit plan might be best for you. These plans use your credit score to verify the likelihood of payment, so they don’t require any deposit.
If you can’t pass a credit check or you’re just looking for more control over your energy expenses, you could also choose a prepaid energy plan. These plans require that you put money into an account to use for electricity, but you’re only ever charged for what you use. There are no surprise bills, no deposits required and no contracts or termination fees.
|Pros of a Prepaid Energy Plan||Cons of a Prepaid Energy Plan|
|Minimal upfront costs||You might experience an outage if you forget to add money to your account|
|You’ll always know the maximum you’ll spend on electricity||Many prepaid plans have slightly higher per-kWh prices|
|No contracts and no early-cancellation fees|
Green energy plans are just like normal plans, but all the energy you consume and receive comes from renewable energy sources including solar and wind. As an eco-friendly website, we strongly recommend green energy plans, as they help reduce your carbon footprint and are beneficial to the environment, often for the same price or less than a plan that uses coal or natural gas to produce energy.
Maine currently has a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal of producing 80% of its electricity via clean energy sources by 2030 and 100% by 2050.2 It’s possible that the state will incentivize transitioning to green energy plans in the near future to reach these goals, which could mean that these plans become more affordable and more numerous in the coming years.
|Pros of a Green Energy Plan||Cons of a Green Energy Plan|
|Reduces your carbon footprint and contribution to pollution||Green energy plans can sometimes be a bit more costly — usually 1 to 2 cents more per kWh — than other plans|
|Allows you to support clean energy without a large up-front cost||Fewer plans available|
Finally, business energy plans are designed specifically for the higher energy needs of commercial customers, including commercial buildings, schools, government agencies, churches and more. Only a handful of electricity suppliers offer plans for business customers, so you’ll have to limit your search to business plans if you need one for your company or building.
The deregulation of the energy market in Maine means choice for electricity customers and, ultimately, lower prices for electricity. However, more options make your decision more challenging. Below are some of our top-rated electric companies in Maine that offer renewable energy plans.
CN Brown Energy
Choosing an energy supplier in Maine can be a challenge for some homeowners because the deregulated energy market means there are many options. Some customers make the mistake of looking just at per-kWh rates, but there are many other factors that are crucial to consider. Below, we’ll include some additional things to think about when choosing an energy provider in Maine.
We’re thrilled to get questions on a regular basis from Maine homeowners about which energy provider they should choose. Below are some of the most common questions we see from homeowners in your area, along with our responses.
There are many energy suppliers in Maine to choose from, but the one with the most affordable 100%-renewable energy plan is Consolidated Communications. The company’s Energy Rewards program with a six-month contract has a fixed-rate kWh price of just 11.48 cents. Compared to the average kWh price in Maine of 23.03 cents, this is a great way to save money on electricity and promote clean energy.
The answer to this question will vary depending on the specific homeowner. One resident might prefer a fixed-rate plan with a long contract for price stability, while another might prefer a variable-rate plan with no contract for the freedom and potential savings. While there is no universal answer, Think Energy is considered one of the best in our ratings. This company offers 100%-renewable energy plans and fixed-rate contracts, and it has multiple term options for plan customization.
With the energy market in Maine being deregulated, one of the best ways to reduce your energy bills is to shop around for the best electricity plan. Green energy plans in Maine range from around 11.48 cents per kWh up to 18.8 cents, so choosing the best one for your needs could save you an average of nearly 10 cents per kWh if you’re paying an average price currently.
Many homeowners in Maine also reduce their energy bills by completing energy efficiency upgrades on their homes. These can include replacing insulation, windows and doors, installing smart thermostats to limit cooling and heating costs and replacing light bulbs with high-efficiency options. You can check out our guide on home energy efficiency for more information.
Just as with energy suppliers, there is no universally ideal energy plan, and each homeowner might prefer a different option. You should consider multiple factors when selecting a new energy plan, including your monthly energy consumption, the rate per kWh, the contract term you want and more. We recommend starting by looking at green energy plans offered by Think Energy, SmartEnergy, Ambit Energy, Consolidated Communications and CN Brown Energy to get started.