PSC: MD Utilities Companies Can No Longer Bill 24 Hours After Outage

The Maryland Public Service Commission found the practice to be an additional burden on customers already facing hardships.

The Maryland Public Service Commission announced Friday that Maryland utilities companies can no longer charge customers for sales lost during the first 24 hours of a major power outage.

Previously, the companies were able to include the charges for electricity that would have have been delivered if not for the outage in their Bill Stabilization Adjustment calculations, according to a commission statement. Baltimore Gas & Electric, Delmarva Power and Light Company, Potomac Electric Power Company and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative are all being ordered to revise their calculations to accommodate the ruling.

Prior to this most recent change, utilities companies were able to charge throughout extended outages. The commission revoked this policy in January 2012, but did grant utilities companies the ability to collect lost sales in the first 24 hours. Today's decision eliminates all costs to customer throughout outages.

According to the statement, the "commission based its decision on the very real financial and quality-of-life hardships customers already face during major outage events, such as spoiled food; lost business and employment income; hotel, meal and medical-related expenses; and costs for generators and fuel, home repairs and pet care."

Utilities companies can only start charging again once full restoration is achieved.

The decision comes ahead of Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to cause widespread extended outages.

Ben October 28, 2012 at 07:52 PM
why youall sending all this stuff to me?????? All I want to know is how to print this????
PerryHallParent October 28, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Ben, the box that you type in? If you don't uncheck the box that says "Send me email updates for this article" (which should be UNCHECKED BY DEFAULT) then you will get an email every time someone posts after you do.
J. Barnett October 29, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Perhaps we have forgotten that the Post Office, and in some communities electrical service and hospitals were not run as businesses, but as a SERVICE to those in the communities. They were to benefit those who used the services not to make an "owner" profits. Those were replaced by for profit entities who do not always have the best interests of their customers in mind. I believe what commenters above meant was that if the P.O. was dismantled and replaced w/for profits only rural and remote areas would lose service altogether because it would not make good ''business" sense. This happened in the case of small hospitals that served rural communities. What has been lacking in government agencies is remembering who they are supposed to serve and being careful not to waste the resources they have been entrusted with, to be accountable to those who elected them. JB
TJ October 29, 2012 at 05:00 AM
Companies streamline to make a profit and fix waste within that company. Government gets bigger and could care less about careless spending, they don't care about waste because they can raise taxes to cover the cost.
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