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Public Service Commission
MD General Assembly
Consumer Advocates of the PJM States
Maryland Office of People’s Counsel (MD OPC) seeking applicants for an Assistant People’s Counsel position.
Applications must be received by close of business on February 1, 2016
Check out the new ALERT on Smart Meter Fees
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
Maryland Court of Appeals denies Columbia Gas request to charge Customers for costs to Environmental site (Cassidy Property).
See Press Release
PSC has Extended the Comment Period for the Mattawoman Energy LLC request to Construct a 859 MW Generating Facility in Prince George's County. New Comment Period ends September 18, 2015
OPC has updated our Resource Guides for FY 2016. The Guides are county/Baltimore City specific, and represent the most comprehensive guide to utility assistance information in Maryland. These guides are post in our
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.
August 2015--SOS Electric prices have been posted for the next ten months--Check the
electric prices from your Electric Distribution Company (BGE, PEPCO, Delmarva, & Potomac Edison). Consumers can use this information to make electric supplier decisions based on these prices for the next 10 months.
SEE ENERGY SUPPLIER PAGE
. 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.
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
. For a discussion of mobile cramming by the People’s Counsel, listen to the podcast with Dan Rodrick, WYPR at
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:
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.
, OPC’s national association, submitted comments on the FCC’s IP Transition Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on February 5. See
submitted comments on the FCC’s 911 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking supporting the FCC’s policy positions and proposed regulations on 911 service. See
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Contact the Office
6 Saint Paul Street, Suite 2102 Baltimore, MD 21202; Toll Free: (800) 207-4055