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PUC Uphelds Selective Rate Discounting

Fortnightly Magazine - June 15 1996

The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has declined as a general policy to require electric utilities that award a rate discount to an individual customer to offer the same discount to the customer's competitors.

The case involved Central Maine Power Co., which had negotiated a discount with Southern Container Corp. under its alternative rate plan. Union Camp Corp., a competitor in the corrugated box business, had then asked for a comparable discount, complaining of discrimination.

The PUC found no discrimination on evidence that the discount was needed to keep the Southern facility in business (em operating without losing revenue (em while Union Camp had not claimed the same need. It added that discounts promote PUC and

legislative policy to "reduce upward pressure on rates through pricing flexibility." Re Cent. Maine Pwr. Co., Docket No. 95-607, March 6, 1996 (Me.P.U.C.).

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