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Public Service Commission
MD General Assembly
Consumer Advocates of the PJM States
12/28/2016--Important information from XOOM Energy as to Customer Refunds to current and former customers,
SEE FACT SHEET
On January 3, 2017 OPC will argue its appeal of the PSC's 3-2 decision approving the Exelon-Pepco Holdings merger in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
On January 4 PSC will consider final adoption of revised regulations to allow Physicians' Assistants to sign medical certification for temporary delays in service shut-offs. OPC had filed a Petition requesting this change. See PSC RM52
OPC has asked PSC to reconsider decision in BGE SOS Administrative Charge (PSC Case 9221) to correct an apparent calculation error. A favorable decision will save BGE customers millions of dollars.
OPC has filed Petitions with the PSC to investigate whether the service termination notices sent by PEPCO and Washington GAs to their customers were in compliance with PSC regulations, since they lacked important customer notices, and failed to provide appropriate remedies.
PSC Will consider two applications to build off-shore wind facilities in Case 9431. OPC will retain experts to evaluate the residential price impact studies and other issues affecting residential customers.
Washington Gas filed a request for approval of certain gas expansion proposals in Case 9433. OPC will retain experts to evaluate the reasonableness of the requests and whether residential customers as a whole are at risk for the cost of the expansion proposal.
People's Counsel has been made aware of notices sent by Verizon to Traditional Copper Line customers. See OPC Information Notice:
Verizon Fiber Notice
12/13/16--Verizon has Voluntarily Agreed to a 60 Day Hold on Copper Service Retirement Notices.
See Full Alert
FCC alerting consumers [
See Full Alert
] be on the lookout for callers pretending to be utility company employees demanding immediate payment, often by prepaid debit cards, credit cards, or gift card. OPC warns consumers to be alert for door to door sales persons claiming to be from utility companies. Always ask for proper identification and do not show billing documents to such individuals. Contact police if you are not completely sure of person's identity.
New Rules for Lifeline Assistance Effective October 31, 2017.
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PSC grants only a portion of PEPCO's original request for a $128 Million rate increase to pay for its deployment of "Smart meters, with an average $16/month increase for residential customers. OPC argued only $53 million was justified; the PSC granted $52.5 million. See PSC Case# 9418.
OPC submitted comments in the PSC conference on modernization of the electric distribution grid and distributed generation; OPC made a presentation at December 9, 2016 conference. SEE PSC PC44.
PSC denied BGE's "microgrid proposal." OPC had submitted comments opposing the proposal and rate recovery from BGE customers. See PSC Case# 9416.
Energy supplier consumer protection rules.
After two year process, PSC issues final revisions to electric and natural gas supplier regulations. Energy suppliers must comply starting May 1. Rules provide for more disclosures, variable rate disclosures, shorter switch times, and requirements for supplier agents. See
OPC Supplier Fact Sheets
on marketing and contracting rules for suppliers, on our Publications page. Check out People's Counsel discussion of energy suppliers on MPT's Direct Connections (1/14/16) at www.mpt.org.
Consumer Issues at the FCC.
OPC and NASUCA have submitted petitions and comments in 3 FCC dockets on issues affecting telecommunications consumers. OPC has challenged the FCC's failure to require companies to provide back-up power for IP-based voice services (cable, fiber) adversely affecting consumer's access to 911 emergency services, and argued for strong consumer protections that are necessary during any transition from traditional wireline phone service to other services, including protection from premature neglect or abandonment of existing copper systems for traditional phone service.
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