Responding to numerous complaints concerning Bangor Hydro-Electric Co.'s entry into the security alarm market, the Maine Public Utilities Commission has set up guidelines for the utility's management of noncore services.
The commission ordered Bangor to: establish a separate subsidiary for its "noncore" utility activities; account for the activities "below-the-line"; and limit its use of certain customer information in providing the ancillary services. The restrictions apply to all business ventures conducted by the company except the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to wholesale and resale customers, along with associated billing and meter reading activities.
Under the new guidelines, the utility must fully reimburse its utility operations for any equipment, services or personnel used by a noncore subsidiary and must, "at a minimum, employ a fully distributed costing methodology." The commission declined to rule on whether to require the noncore subsidiaries to pay a royalty to core customers to ensure that ratepayers are fully compensated. Instead, the commission decided to reserve judgement until it reviews the utility's cost allocation during a rate setting proceeding. Cochrane et al. v. Bangor Hydro-Electric Co., Docket No. 96-053, Jan. 28, 1997 (Me.P.U.C.).
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