Emera Maine was founded on January 1, 2014, when Bangor Hydro Electric Company and Maine Public Service merged to become Emera Maine. They are owned by Emera Inc., a full-service energy company that is based out of Nova Scotia. Emera Maine will "install, operate and maintain transmission and distribution infrastructure such as poles and wires, substations, and meters." They even offer resources such as programs and tools to help their customers use the energy they are using more efficiently.
Their distribution services are regulated by the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) and their transmission services are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Emera Maine does point out that they do not generate or sell the electricity that they deliver to retail customers. Emera Maine currently has more than 10,000 square miles of territory, 158,000 customers and 410 employees.
- Fixed Electricity Rate
- Minimum Usage Fees
Fixed Electricity Rate
Emera Maine has great fixed rates for electricity at 6.3¢/kWh. It won't be very often when you will see a rate as good this one. Many other companies at least double this price, and from what we know, only a couple other companies can out beat Emera Maine's price. If you are seriously considering electricity and live in Maine, we suggest you look closer into Emera and see if this is a good fit for you because you might not run into a deal as good as this.
Minimum Usage Fees
Another great part of Emera Maine is that their minimum usage fee is outrageously high like a lot of other deregulated energy companies. The minimum usage fee is a charge that is associated with accounts that do not use enough deregulated energy. They only charge $6.53/month and other companies will easily start at at least $10/month. We see this as reasonable. The preference is for a company not to have this fee in the first place, but in the cases where companies do, this isn't a deal breaker price.
- Undisclosed Information
- No ECH Payments
One of the hardest things when choosing any company is if they do not reveal a lot of information online for potential customers to access. The biggest problem we have run into with Emera Maine is that they do not share a ton of important information. For example, the only rates we could find was fixed electricity rates. There is no pricing for variable electricity and natural gas rates or fixed natural gas rates.
What's also missing is information on how long a customer is required to be in contract for. There was no minimum or maximum contract length mentioned. Deregulated energy companies also have a handful of miscellaneous fees that we have found to be common. Unfortunately, Emera Maine doesn't make mention to any of these common charges or fees. These include the initial deposit amount, monthly customer fee, cancellation charge and late payment fee.
Companies with this much missing information show big red flags. Off of this alone, we would have a hard time recommending Emera Maine. The most important thing to a customer is being transparent, especially when it comes to pricing and fees. With so many unknowns, it's hard for a customer to decide when they are actually signing up with.
No ECH Payments
ECH forms or electronic checks are becoming an increasingly popular form of payment. It makes it easier for a company to withdraw automatic payments directly from a person's checking account. Most times there aren't any transaction fees associated with ECH payments. This could be a disappointment to some customers, but luckily Emera Maine also offers forms of payment through credit or debit cards, bank accounts, and handwritten checks.
The Bottom Line
Based off of the amount of undisclosed information alone, we do not feel comfortable recommending Emera Maine at this time. Especially since the undisclosed information has to do with prices and fees, a customer will not truly know how much they will truly be paying. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of other companies in the state of Maine that offer deregulated energy, but we would suggest that you look into those companies before considering Emera Maine. There are too many blind spots that you might regret if signing up with them.