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Bill calls for single consumer-owned utility

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The public is weighing in on a push to replace Maine’s two largest electric companies with a single, consumer-owned utility.

Democratic Rep. Seth Berry’s bill calls for the state to buy the two largest electric companies.

Berry says low-interest revenue bonds would finance the effort.

Sanford business owner John Costin said in written testimony to lawmakers that it’s hard for businesses like his to afford electric costs under the “monopoly” in Maine.

Central Maine Power spokesperson Catharine Hartnett has said the bill lacks details.

Associated General Contractors of Maine said it’s concerned that the bill could jeopardize Maine’s electrical service and that a likely legal battle would curb investment in renewable energy. The trade group said the state should instead study the logistical and legal implications.

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