USDA – Public Notice of Intent to File an Application – Posted Sept. 9 2021

Public Notice of Intent to File an Application


The Houlton Water Company has filed an application with the USDA Rural Development for financial assistance to develop Houlton Water Company and Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians Foxcroft Road and Clover Circle Wastewater Lift Stations Upgrade Project. The project includes replacement of submersible pumps, and ancillary process equipment, electrical controls, and instrumentation, two new pretreatment tanks, and the installation of two new stand-by power generators to improve and enhance station reliability. A public meeting for comments will be held on Wednesday, September 22nd at 6:00PM via Zoom Meeting at or dial 1-646-876-9923 to discuss the proposed project and to provide the opportunity for public comment.

Benefit of NBP Interconnection

logoimageCustomer letter Benefit of connection to NBP

July 2, 2020


Dear Customers:

Good news for Houlton Water Company electric customers, your rates will soon decrease.  We are pleased to inform you that the new direct transmission line and associated substation additions connecting the HWC electric system to the New Brunswick Power (NBP) electric system have been completed. The new connection went on line during the early morning of May 15th. The transfer from the existing Versant Power (previously Emera Maine & Maine Public Service) transmission system to the NBP system will result in an annual savings of over one and a half million dollars ($1.5 million) for HWC customers and also enhance the reliability of the HWC system.  These cost savings are avoided transmission costs associated with the Versant System.

The project required obtaining numerous permits on both sides of the border from the State of Maine, USA Federal Government, Province of New Brunswick and Canadian Federal Government. Once fully permitted the construction of transmission lines and associated substation equipment began on both sides of the border.

The project was an eight year effort that included many key governmental institutions, regulatory authorities, organizations and companies. We are appreciative of all the expert assistance received from both sides of the border on banking, legal, consulting, engineering, and the unwavering support of the HWC employees and Board of Directors past and present. In addition, without NBP management and the staff’s enthusiasm, cooperation and expertise the project would have not have been fully permitted and completed.

Not only will the new line benefit HWC customers but also the remainder of Aroostook County (Versant, Van Buren Light & Power and Eastern Maine Electric Coop) customers. Their transmission reliability will improve and the need for added capital investment will decrease.

This direct line will save HWC customers money but will also enhance HWC system reliability. The new line is a shorter distance than the previous Emera line and a new substation and transformer will replace older equipment. In addition, HWC has entered into backup arrangement with Versant Power (formerly Emera Maine) to continue to have the old Emera line for back up. We will now have two sources of transmission feed to HWC versus one single source. This configuration with two transmission paths should lessen the risk that HWC customers will experience extended outages.

We estimate the yearly savings for the average residential customers should be approximately $100 dollars per year. This direct line to NBP will stabilize the transmission portion of the customer’s electric bill which has been increasing dramatically for the past several years and should also be an added tool for economic development in the area.

Also for 2020, HWC entered into a new Standard Offer Agreement for energy supply for our customers lowering the rate from .067 to .06625 cents per kWh. Not a dramatic decrease, but the term of the deal is for five year stabilizing rates during that period.  The resulting savings is about $5.50 per year for the average residential customer.

Saving money and improving reliability for our customers is primary for our mission and existence. The project completion is a win / win for Aroostook County, our community and all of our customers. We are pleased to bring you this good news of decreased cost and improved reliability.


Gregory F. Sherman

General Manager, HWC

Outage Notice June 29th 2020

Outage Notice June 29th 2020

On June 29 th at 12:00am, the Houlton Water Company will be taking a system wide outage to perform maintenance to the transformer in the new Houlton Substation, located in Canada.  We anticipate that the outage will last no more than 5 hours and expect customers to have power restored to them by 5:00 am on Monday Morning June 29th.  It is important to note that this work is happening in the middle of the night, early Monday morning, to limit inconvenience to our customers. The purpose of the outage is to adjust settings on the transformer supplying power to HWC so that we can properly regulate the voltage on our system. We currently have no issues but there is a need to increase the margins by which we maintain this voltage to meet the demands of our system in inclement weather.   HWC wants to thank its customers for its patience as we make final adjustments to the equipment which provides service though the NBP interconnection.

Please Note: If the work is unable to be completed because of poor weather the Rain Date is June 30th.


Greg Sherman, GM

Power Outage May 15, 2020

Outage Notice May 15 2020

On May 15th at 1:00am the Houlton Water Company will be taking a system wide outage to switch from the Emera Maine Transmission system to the New Brunswick Power Transmission System.  We anticipate that the outage will last no more than 3 hours and the bulk of customer are expected to have power restored by 4:00 am on May 15th.  It is important to note that this switchover is happening in the middle of the night, early Friday morning, to limit inconvenience to our customers.  HWC wants to thank its customers for its patience as we finalize the interconnection to NB Power.