STATEWIDE (WGME) - More than 60,000 residential customers of Central Maine Power were mistakenly told they would be getting refunds, according to information the power company provided to the Consumer Assistance and Safety Division of the Public Utilities Commission and confirmed to CBS 13.
The erroneous refund information, which appeared on January bills, confused many customers.
"Anyone know what this is? I didn't get any refund..it's not really clear," posted one customer in the online ratepayer forum, CMP Ratepayers Unite.
The mistake is the latest in a series of issues facing CMP since it rolled out a new billing system in October 2017.
However, spokeswoman Catharine Hartnett told CBS 13 the error had nothing to do with the new SmartCare billing system and blamed the issue on human error when the bills were printed and sent over the course of two days.
"It was the right message sent to the wrong people," Hartnett said.
This is the message that was on the bills:
You are receiving a refund associated with your purchase of Standard Offer Supply between March 1, 2012 and December 31, 2018. This refund is the result of differences between the estimated market supply price that customers paid and the actual market supply payments made to the standard offer energy providers.
That message was intended to be sent to 122 large business customers who are due a refund from a standard offer market adjustment.
"CMP informed the Commission that the bill message went to 5 of the 122, but mistakenly also to approximately 62,000 residential customers. When CMP caught the mistake they stopped the messages and informed the Commission," said Harry Lanphear, MPUC administrative director.
Lanphear said the 122 business customers have since been sent a letter and the affected residential customers will get communication from CMP about the mistake.