Fee Charged By Utilities Following Outages To Be Re-Examined
Maryland Public Service Commission calls a public hearing for Sept. 24 to examine "bill stabilization."
The Maryland Public Service Commission is asking the public to weigh in on whether utilities should be able to collect a fee to recoup losses from catastrophic events such as major power outages.
The commission, which oversees utilities including Pepco and Baltimore Gas and Electric, will hold a public hearing Sept. 24 in Baltimore.
The fee, imposed under a regulation known as bill stabilization adjustment, allows utilities to charge ratepayers for losses sustained during the first 24 hours of major outages.
Following backlash from the public and local officials over Pepco’s response to the crippling June 29 storm, the fee drew outrage from customers who were out of power for days. More than 100 readers weighed in on a Patch story about bill stabilization, with one commenter noting:
“I guess in that case, if they are making money from the outage, we can bill them for the spoiled groceries in our refrigerators and freezers.”
According to a public hearing notice, the commission will re-examine whether utilities should be allowed to charge the fee.
The hearing will be held at 1 p.m. on Sept. 24 in the Public Service Commission’s 16th-floor hearing room in the William Donald Schaefer Tower at 6 St. Paul St. in Baltimore.
For more information, see the public hearing notice attached to this story.
Do you think Pepco and BG&E should be allowed to charge a bill stabilization fee following major power outages? Tell us in the comments.