New BG&E gas charges to hit industrial users Maryland PSC approves fees

September 25, 1993|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Staff Writer

New gas charges approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission could cost Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.'s 206 industrial customers thousands of dollars more each year.

The extra fees are subject to refund depending on the outcome of a hearing ordered by the commission. No hearing date has been set.

The fee, approved by the commission Wednesday, affects industrial customers that buy directly from gas companies and pay BG&E only for the use of its distribution system.

BG&E said its request for the increase was prompted by a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order restructuring the gas industry. The order takes effect Nov. 1, the same date the new fees are effective.

BG&E will charge the companies $97 a month for new gas meters that can track the flow of gas daily with new computer equipment using telephone lines. There are also additional charges ranging from 1 cent to 3 1/2 cents per dekatherm -- a unit of energy -- for managing the flow of gas to the companies so it corresponds to what they have ordered.

The new fees were opposed by the Maryland Industrial Group, which represents 25 of the largest manufacturers in the state, including General Motors Corp., SCM Chemicals Inc. and W. R. Grace & Co.

Phillip R. Precht, principal rate research analyst for BG&E, defended the new charges. "We believe we should be compensated for providing specialized services," he said.

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