Power Companies Charge Maryland Customers Extra Because Their Electricity Went Out

| by Michael Allen

Many customers in Maryland will see an extra charge on their next power bill after power companies Pepco and BGE lost money when they couldn't charge customers to deliver power during a recent storm outage.

Maryland Public Service Commission spokeswoman Regina Davis told WUSA 9:"The storm adjustment kicks in automatically. The BSA [Bill Stabilization Adjustment] is calculated and applied by the companies, but checked by PSC staff and we make the utilities correct it if they get it wrong."

Only in Maryland are utility companies allowed to recoup lost money by invoicing customers. Maryland officials say utilities are limited to recouping lost money from the first 24 hours of the outage only.

Maryland People's Counsel attorney Theresa Czarski said the average customer would likely see a charge of less than a dollar for the adjustment.

However, it adds up. In 2010, Pepco recouped nearly $1.4 million for one storm alone.