.

Report: Customers to Pay BGE, Pepco for Lost Storm Income

BGE and Pepco will reportedly be able to charge a fee for losses suffered when power was out to hundreds of thousands after the June 29 storm.

This story was updated to include comments from BGE.

BGE and Pepco are allowed to recoup some of the money lost after the severe storm June 29 by charging a fee to be paid by customers who were without power, 9 News Now reported.

"It's the law," Pepco spokesman Bob Hainey told 9 News Now. "It's called bill stabilization."

Should bill stabilization result from a storm-induced power outage? Tell us in the comments.

"The storm adjustment kicks in automatically,"Maryland Public Service Commission spokeswoman Regina Davis told 9 News Now. "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."

The charge, BGE Spokesman Rob Gould said, is in the “distribution” part of a customer’s bill; the part that covers the infrastructure, tree trimming and other non-supply related costs, and only applies for the first 24 hours of an outage.

Gould likened the BSA somewhat to taxes that pay for government services such as trash collection. During an extreme weather event “you’re not getting a refund on your taxes because the trash wasn’t picked up.” he said. “You’re still paying your full taxes. It’s similar here.”

“When the meter is not powered,” Gould said, “When there’s no service, you’re not paying for energy because you’re not using energy.”

This news comes as utility companies are coming under increased scrutiny.

On Tuesday, county executives from across the state  and share information with government officials during an emergency. 

According to Pepco's website, "The BSA is a monthly adjustment that ... will lower rates if Pepco is receiving more revenue than the PSC has approved, and will increase rates if Pepco is receiving less revenue than the PSC has approved." That way, Pepco can "promote energy efficiency programs that will help customers reduce their energy use and drive down electricity supply costs," the website adds.  

The fee, Gould aid, would likely be “less than a buck.”

Such fees are not allowed in Virginia or Washington, DC.

Read more on 9 News Now.

Read more about the powerful "derecho" storm and its aftermath:

 

Michael July 12, 2012 at 08:34 PM
BGE has a lot of nerve talking about recouping "losses" so that they can get things "back on track". That is BS. BGE doesn't use the money we pay on a monthly basis to keep the infrastructure up to date, nor do they retain crews that are necessary to restore power when it goes out. This is why there was a slow response. BGE is full of crap, and only cares about the bottom line profit, not whom they provide power for. Charging people for services NOT USED is the height of arrogance, and should be met with utter contempt. Their excuse for this "fee" is an absolute fail.
Nicholas Aleshin July 12, 2012 at 11:38 PM
What about the food that spoiled in my fridge? What about my lost sleep (as a sleep apnea sufferer, I cannot sleep without electricity)?
Aaron from Baltimore July 15, 2012 at 01:50 AM
The distribution charge in my last BGE bill, divided over the thirty-day billing period, works out to a bit less than $.50 per day, but we'll call it four bits for simplicity's sake. Per the article, the "bill stabilization" charge applies only to the first 24 hours of an outage, i.e. one day. There are fourteen individuals in this thread whining about having to pay an extra four bits on their next BGE bill. By my math, that works out to seven bucks out of pocket if I cover the difference for the lot of you, which I will gladly do in exchange for you promising to try and obtain something in the vague semblance of a sense of perspective. Let me know if there's interest in this proposal, and I'll provide an address to which to apply. One significant point, so far ignored in this analysis, is that distribution charges are calculated on the basis of energy used. The score on my last BGE bill was 520KWh, about half the 2010 average for Maryland. We don't have a lot of fancy appliances, or indeed even central air. Perhaps some of you, for whom living simply is more of an aspirational goal than a simple necessity, have more reason to complain than I imagine. (Maryland average home power usage figures via United States Energy Information Agency, found at http://205.254.135.7/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=97&t=3 .)
Billie Byard August 03, 2012 at 04:06 PM
With the charge from the power companies, I strongly feel Pepco and BGE should be responsible for each customer that lost all of their food - spoiled food caused by not having refrigeration; all the hours that people lost from work; medical bills from people that were hurt from this storm. WHO do these power companies think they are......charging customers a "stabilization" fee. GIVE ME A BREAK. Who can we charge for all of our losses.
Michele Fultz August 10, 2012 at 09:03 PM
There are other energy suppliers in your area. Please contact me if you would like to understand more about energy deregulation:)

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »