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Maryland Senator Wants To Stop Utility Outage Fees

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If storm damage knocks out your utility's power, Maryland law lets them charge you a fee for lost service.
Jonathan Wilson
If storm damage knocks out your utility's power, Maryland law lets them charge you a fee for lost service.

A Maryland state senator wants to stop allowing utilities to charge a fee to cover storm-related losses, even after many customers had to go without power for days.

Democratic Sen. Brian Frosh, of Montgomery County, says the policy isn't fair to ratepayers because it makes them pay for a service they aren't getting. Plus, it provides all the wrong incentives to utilities.

Maryland allows utilities to charge a fee during  the first 24 hours after a storm that causes widespread outages. The fee is meant to be a partial compensation to the utility company because they are not able to deliver their service to customers. 

Frosh backed legislation to stop the practice last year, and it failed by a narrow margin.

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