But does anyone know the real price of power?
You've read the headlines from Maine - how regulators asked for bids for competitive electricity but got prices higher than the old regulated rate.
But it gets worse. The more open the market, the higher the bid.
Central Maine Power and Bangor Hydro-Electric operate within ISO New England, which now is open for competition. Yet according to the Maine Public Utilities Commission, the bids from suppliers offering to serve those two utilities came in higher than bids for Maine Public Service Co., in the Maritimes control area in Canada. That market is not yet open. New Brunswick Power is the dominant utility there. What gives?
"We would not expect significantly higher prices for the CMP and BHE areas," said the PUC. "It is possible that the immaturity of the ISO-NE markets, the changing nature of the market rules, the extremely high spot market prices at certain times over recent months, and uncertainty regarding transmission pricing and other matters in the region may all be contributing factors."
Maybe it was bad timing. As the PUC noted, other states in New England were soliciting offers at the same time, "possibly impacting the bids in Maine."