Portland, Maine

Electric firm disconnects record number

Statistics show that Maine’s largest electric utility shut off power last year to a record number of customers who had not paid their bills. Central Maine Power disconnected 29,554 homes in 2011, up 60 percent from 2007 — apparently a record number. Officials said the company’s disconnection activity is an indicator of the weak economy and the utility’s more aggressive efforts to collect unpaid bills. The Maine Sunday Telegram requested the shut-off statistics to examine the relationship between power disconnections and the state’s economic health.