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Maryland PSC To Reconsider Utility Reimbursement Policy In Event Of Power Outages

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ROCKVILLE, Md. (CBSDC) - Maryland residents were irate when Pepco was allowed to raise rates to seemingly make up for losses in revenue following the Derecho storms. Now they are calling for regulators to rethink a decision that allows utility companies to bill its customers to recover profits lost in the day following a power outage. And regulators may be listening.

The Bill Stabilization Adjustment (BSA) approved by the Public Service Commission was put in place to make sure electric companies recoup financial losses, as a method to encourage companies to improve their efficiency. The BSA allows companies to bill its customers for revenue specifically lost during the first 24 hours of a power outage.

The vicious June 29 Derecho storm that deprived hundreds of thousands of Maryland residents of power for days brought out a visceral outrage in those same residents, causing them to shout that the reimbursement program isn’t fair.

Citizens were outspoken at a public hearing held in Rockville Tuesday, with the town’s former mayor chastising the Maryland Public Services Commission for granting Pepco an extra $18 million in rate increases in July.

Apparently those cries were heard.

The Examiner is reporting a strong movement by local officials to now retract the BSA. State Senator Brian Frosh, of Montgomery County, is one of the public officials hoping to get rid of the practice.

Now the Maryland Public Service Commission has announced that it will reconsider the policy of reimbursing utility companies following power outages.

Montgomery County Council President, Roger Berliner, told The Examiner, “This is not so much about dollars as it is the principle that Pepco should share in the financial pain of outages.”

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