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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 fee drew outrage from customers who were out of power for days. 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.


Jim Burnetti August 09, 2012 at 11:19 PM
PEPCO can charge me for not delivering electricity to my house. I'll in turn be billing them for not helping to upgrade their information systems. Fair trade?
Dale bounds August 10, 2012 at 12:46 AM
They should pay for not supplying service to customers.Pay for damages No body pays me when bad things happen to me. They have some nerve for asking.
BERNIE FISKEN August 10, 2012 at 10:39 AM
If there is some contract with PEPCO that permits PEPCO to charge this sort of fee ,that contract should be re-examined. Given PEPCO's "monopoly" status and dismal performance, there should be some on-going and constant oversight of PEPCO. In theory the Public Service Commission should be doing this. Some elected officials like Senator Frosh and Councilman Berliner are doing a great job trying to make the PEPCO "monopoly" more accountable.
Pam Coblyn August 10, 2012 at 12:26 PM
I operate a home business. When I don't have electricity, I cannot make money. Can I send a bill for my lost daily rate to Pepco? It would be my Income Stabilization Fee.
tfm August 10, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Unbelievable fee provision! Who wrote that particular bit of madness into the regulations? Like so many others we went days without A/C in close to unbearable conditions, lost perishable food from two full-sized refrigerators and a freezer (for the third time in a year and a half) and spent unplanned$$eating out when we just couldn't manage any more at home. And PEPCO wants a fee for OUR losses? It's an insane expectation.
Arlene K. Polangin August 10, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Once again, the idiots at Pepco and the PSC think we should pay them for having no electricity, losing hundreds in food, and in general, being unbearably hot for 6 days day when we went without electricity. What madness is this?
David Epstein August 11, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Part of our PEPCO bill is a flat amount which is not a function of the amount of electricity we consume. Since we did not have electricity for six days, PEPCO should be required to return 6/30 or 20% of that fixed amount. While we are at it, Verizon should also be required to return 20% of our monthly bills. If Verizon says it's not their fault, then the response is you did not provide the promised service. If Verizon is not satisfied, tell them to go talk to PEPCO and the Public Service Commission.
David Epstein August 11, 2012 at 03:16 AM
My heat pump (and many others in the county) failed due to the voltage surges. Where's my check for $8,200 to reimburse me for my loss?
J Munro August 12, 2012 at 01:06 PM
How about Pepco paying me for the groceries I lost when the power goes out? We had a lobster boil planned and of course all the fish had to be thrown out. Where's my check? How about having their management take a cut when things go out - let them pay for the lack of service..
SARAH ISSA August 15, 2012 at 02:47 AM
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SARAH ISSA August 15, 2012 at 02:47 AM
i wish you compliment of the season with great joy in my heart for coming in contact with you and i have a special reason of contacting you which i will make known to you when i get your respond o my email address (sarahissa130@yahoo.com) there i will tell you everything about me and the reason of contacting you . SARAH GOD BLESS YOU DEAR;

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