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Check out new alert on Medical Certifications and Service Shut-offs.  In addition to Doctors, Nurse Practitioners can now certify the medical condition.  Medical Certification Alert


June 11, 2015-- OPC filed a Circuit Court Appeal of the Maryland Public Service Commission ruling in Case #9361 Exelon's Acquisition of PEPCO Holdings, Inc.  READ MORE

 

May 2015--SOS Electric prices have been posted for the next twelve months--This the only time of the year when a consumer can view the future twelve months of electric prices from their Electric Distribution Company (BGE, PEPCO, Delmarva, & Potomac Edison). Consumers can use this information to make electric supplier decisions of 12 month, or less, fixed rate contracts.  SEE ENERGY SUPPLIER PAGE. 

 

Exelon-PHI Merger. PSC issues a 3-2 decision approving with conditions the acquisition of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (Pepco and Delmarva Power) by Exelon Corp.  OPC had opposed the transaction as harmful to residential customers. See OPC Press Release. ATTACHMENT

 

People’s Counsel speaks on consumer issues: (1) Energy Bar Association Annual Conference (May 6); (2) University of the District of Columbia Law School (April 8); and (3) Oracle Conference (March 26).  She is scheduled to address competitive issues related to disruptive technologies at the American Antitrust Institute’s Annual Energy Roundtable on May 27, and consumer issues related to energy suppliers as well as prepayment plans at the National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference on June 22.

 

Mobile cramming settlements: The Maryland Attorney General announced settlements with Sprint and Verizon Wireless to address problems with “cramming,” - unauthorized charges placed on consumers’ cellphone bills. Similar settlements with T-Mobile and AT&T were announced earlier. For information on submitting refund claims see http://www.oag.state.md.us/Press/2015/051215.html.  For a discussion of mobile cramming by the People’s Counsel, listen to the podcast with Dan Rodrick, WYPR at http://programs.wypr.org/podcast/wireless-cramming-and-consumer-advocacy-wednesday-july-10-1-2-pm.

 

2015 General Assembly Session: OPC concerns were addressed in amendments to 3 important bills on telephone deregulation, community solar and transportation network companies (e.g., Uber and Lyft) during the 2015 legislative session.   See our legislation tab for OPC testimony.

 

PSC Regulations – Restrictions on Terminations in Case of Serious Illness  or Need for Life-Support Equipment. On May 7, the PSC voted to finally adopt changes to the regulations to permit Nurse Practitioners to certify the medical condition of a gas or electric customer or household occupant to temporarily avoid a service shut-off.  At OPC’s request, the  PSC Chairman also directed the PSC Staff to submit proposed regulations to allow Physician Assistants to make the certifications.  See Rulemaking 52.

 

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Workshop: OPC will talk about the PSC’s process for evaluating and deciding on requests to build generating facilities and transmission lines on June 11at 7 p.m. at the Kennedyville Volunteer Fire Department in Kent County. Companies must get approval in the form of a CPCN from the PSC before constructing these facilities.

 

Other Important PSC Rulemaking Hearings:

 

RM55 – Rulemaking session on proposed regulations for Transportation Network Companies (TNC) and drivers has been cancelled due to passage of TNC legislation and will be rescheduled. 

 

July 23-24 – RM43:  PSC will consider recommendations for new reliability standards for electric companies, and revisions to the reliability standards regulations.  OPC and its expert consulting engineer will review and comment on these proposals. 

 

June 16-17 – RM54:  PSC will consider revisions to its regulations for energy suppliers to address problems with variable rate contracts, add consumer protections and require faster switching by the utilities.  See OPC comments urging stronger protections in RM54, Item 7 and PC35, Item 164.

 

Energy Supplier Investigations: In Case 9346, the PSC is investigating the marketing practices of 3 energy suppliers related to the high variable rates charged to customers in the winter of 2013-14. OPC has submitted testimony about the marketing practices of XOOM; proceedings for Major Energy and Blue Pilot are pending.

 

NASUCA, OPC’s national association, submitted comments on the FCC’s IP Transition Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on February 5. Seehttp://nasuca.org/advocacy/testimony-filings/2015-2/.

 

NASUCA submitted comments on the FCC’s 911 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking supporting the FCC’s policy positions and proposed regulations on 911 service.  See

http://nasuca.org/advocacy/testimony-filings/2015-2/