The Class Action Lawsuit Against ECTCS

You are probably aware that there is a Lawsuit against Three Maine electricity providers. Among those named in that Lawsuit are: Provider Power, Energy Trustee, and Maine Electric Supply. The three companies are accused of falsely locking consumers into “lock-ins” for their services by increasing the prices on their energy accounts each month in order to collect a percentage of the monthly wholesale electricity rate charged to all customers who already have energy contracts with that company.

The complaint further describes the dishonest efforts to evade paying money to consumers for the increased wholesale rates by re-marketing the energy accounts as wholesale accounts while simultaneously marking them as accounts eligible for discounts to energy customers with an account already closed or for other reasons.

Electricity Maine Class Action Lawsuit

The three Maine utility companies named in the Lawsuit are amongst the largest energy providers in the state of Maine. All of these companies have been sued in federal court and had class action lawsuits filed against them. This puts them in a difficult position. They want to do everything they can to avoid having any more lawsuits like this one filed against them.

If it weren’t for the relentless efforts of the plaintiff’s lawyer, then the Maine electricity supply market would be left completely unregulated.

It seems the law firm from Portland, Oregon will fight tooth and nail to ensure that the Class Action lawsuit filed today won’t be allowed to proceed. They are demanding fast action in this case and believe in strong legal representation for the plaintiffs. There are many class action lawsuits currently pending in the energy markets around the country, including in New York, Michigan, Washington, D.C., and California.

As is the case in other states, the regulators (federal government agencies such as the SEC) will review the complaint and make a determination based on whether or not it is meritorious.

If the complaint has solid legal foundation, then the regulators can deny class certification, but if the basis for the lawsuit is weak the regulators may decide to allow it to go forward. In fact, this lawsuit has created a stir among Maine utility providers because it could mean that low rates and increased competition are no longer an option for small business customers.

The dispute in Maine involves a case that was brought by the Maine Consumer Advocate Foundation (Maclean Foundation).

The complaint was that the state’s lowest rate (the cheapest in the nation) is being offered to electricians who also provide services such as heating and air conditioning. According to the complaint, Maine’s largest electric company, Portland Electric Supply, offers its lowest rate to customers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Portland, Maine. The complaint further states that the company offers special “luxury” prices to businesses and residential customers and does not base their “fair” rate on the local average.

The Maine Class Action Lawsuit has gained national attention because of the contention that the price offered by Portland Electric Supply exceeds the local prevailing rate.

If allowed to proceed, the lawsuit could potentially affect all rate determinations by local municipal governments. Additionally, the suit claims that the Maine regulators have allowed Portland Electric Supply to develop a “profit” model that has resulted in unfair price increases. As a result of these and other allegedly discriminatory actions, the complaint has been filed by the Maine Consumer Advocate Foundation along with the South Portland, Fort Lauderdale, and Portland, Maine Attorney General’s Office, which is challenging the monopolization of the electricity market in Maine.

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