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Maryland Reconsiders Bill Affecting Utilities Revenue

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Maryland regulators are reconsidering a policy that allows utilities to bill customers for lost revenue during the first 24 hours of a power outage.

The Maryland Public Service Commission is revisiting the issue in the wake of complaints about utility performance following severe storms in late June. A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 24.

Utilities had previously been allowed to charge customers throughout extended outages. In January, the policy was changed to allow charges only during the first 24 hours after major storms.

The storm that hit the D.C. area last June, known as a derecho, knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of Maryland customers, and some remained in the dark for a week. That prompted complaints about the 24-hour grace period, especially from Pepco customers in the Washington suburbs.

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