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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.

Pepco customers criticized the practice, asking during n on Tuesday in Rockville how they could be charged for power use when they were without power.

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 BGE should be allowed to charge a bill stabilization fee following major power outages? Tell us in the comments.

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