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Central Maine Power Noted for Making Strides in Service, Operations

July 28, 2021
Management audit highlights both improvements, and opportunities.

Central Maine Power (CMP) has been noted for improved customer service, increased focus on power reliability and establishing critical leadership positions in Maine by the Liberty Consulting Group, retained by the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) to perform a management audit of CMP in early 2020. The report, released last week, concluded that transactional customer service satisfaction levels have improved since 2018 and the number of customer complaints has decreased. The report also outlines opportunities for the company to further improve its service to customers.

“This independent report recognizes that CMP is on the right path to overcome the organizational challenges that impacted our service to customers in the past,” said David Flanagan, executive chairman for CMP. “We take full responsibility for the mismanagement of our Smartcare system roll out in 2017 which resulted in an unacceptable service experience for many customers. We have made steady improvements in our service and reliability, and we are entirely committed to ensuring our customers’ expectations are met, and even exceeded, and that power is delivered affordably, safely and reliably while we invest in the grid to accommodate new renewable energy sources.”

Commenting on the focus of CMP and its parent company, the report states:

“Avangrid has managed the provision of electricity delivery service in Maine for the past five years using a comprehensive organization populated by dedicated personnel employing the kinds of processes, platforms, systems, and tools one should expect of a large, sophisticated utility. Like all organizations, it can improve, cares about doing so, and has taken efforts to get better.” To improve its connection to customers and ensure continuing improvements meet customer expectations, the company is preparing to recruit members for a CMP Customer Listening Council, comprising a representative group of community leaders, businesses and other customers from across the state. The company had been developing the concept since early this year in tandem with its sister AVANGRID utility companies. “To keep us continually tuned in to the expectations of our customers, we will look to the input of a Customer Listening Council that will share the interests and voices of our customers directly with CMP’s senior leadership,” said Scott Mahoney, interim President and CEO. We are ready to begin recruiting members of this Council that will provide feedback to keep us on the path of improving the customer experience.” For 16 months the company has consistently met or exceeded customer service performance measures set by the PUC in 2020 such as answering customer calls in less than 30 seconds. More than 99.8% of CMP monthly bills are accurate and on time. The company provides an enhanced $25 customer service guarantee if customer bills are not accurate or if they’re late.

Since 2019 CMP has taken many steps to strengthen its operations and customer service including:

  • Adding nearly two-dozen additional contact center representatives
  • Creating a Vice President of Customer Service role dedicated to Maine
  • Appointing a “customer champion” – former state Senator Dawn Hill – to be an independent voice advocating for customers
  • Building its Maine leadership ranks with experienced Maine employees. In addition to appointing Linda Ball to the role of Vice President, Customer Service last year, CMP recently appointed Winthrop resident and Maine native Adam Desrosiers, as Vice President, Electric Operations.
  • Introducing a new mobile app and enhanced online usage management services and customer alerts to help customers better understand and manage their energy usage and costs
  • Working to connect more than 500 newly proposed solar projects to the grid, marshalling a team of more than 100 employees and contractors to do the required engineering studies and grid assessment work

Mahoney states, “One of our most important priorities is to interconnect several hundred new solar and other renewable projects to the grid so that Maine is positioned to meet its ambitious renewable energy goals.”

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