Maine has banned winter electricity disconnection threats that mislead consumers.

Lawmakers in the state, including Democratic Rep. Seth Berry, proposed a bill to prevent electric utilities from sending out misleading disconnection notices during the winter as part of debt collection efforts. Berry and others said the practice has affected thousands of people in the state.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission already doesn’t allow residential winter disconnections. However, utility companies were allowed to send false collection notices that give customers specific dates on which power would be shut off, supporters of the new law said.

More than 100,000 such notices were sent out during the winter of 2019-20, supporters of the new law said. Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed the proposal into law in late June.

Utilities that send such false notices will now be fined up to $2,500.

Megan Diver

Megan has worked in Maine politics for more than ten years and all of her professional career, having served in many roles for elected officials (including former Secretary of State Charlie Summers), in-house with the Maine Association of REALTORS®, legislative specialist at Pierce Atwood LLP providing lobbying services and support to Pierce Atwood’s government relations clients and most recently senior government relations specialist at the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Megan currently is the Vice President at the Maine Energy Marketers Association, utilizing her vast knowledge and legislative experience at the State House to represent MEMA on policies relating to the Association and its members.