The standard offer rate of 5.9 cents per kiloWatt-hour (cents/kWh) became effective on all energy used on our after November 1, 2020.
What is Standard Offer Supply?
"Standard Offer" is a default supply of electricity with guaranteed availability. Before deregulation, electric utilities were responsible for the generation and delivery of electricity in each service area. Each utility was obligated to provide power to all paid customers, because the utility was the only company allowed to sell power in that specific service territory.
Electric restructuring split the industry into two parts. The utilities became "delivery companies," and other companies, known as Competitive Electricity Providers (CEPs), now directly sell customers the electricity. Delivery companies deliver electricity and are responsible for the utility infrastructure. The delivery companies issue the bill for the delivery and electricity charges, but the amount of the electricity charges is forwarded to the CEP. Without safeguards, this would mean that some customers might not be able to get power at all. To prevent this from happening, a Standard Offer provider is chosen for each delivery area through a bidding process. The lowest bidder is then obligated to provide electricity to all paying customers in the given delivery territory. In this way, each electric customer in Maine is assured that electricity will be available.
Standard Offer contracts are awarded through a bidding process when there is more the one bidder willing to supply power. Under the newest Standard Offer arrangement, power is supplied to EMEC by New Brunswick Power Generation Corporation (NB Power). The Cooperative purchases power from NB Power and resells it to the Co-op's members.