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BUSINESS
By Liz F. Kay | March 28, 2011
As we've told you before , state legislators and regulators are trying to design service reliability standards for Maryland's electric utilities intended to establish what's expected from the companies in terms of tree trimming, customer service and response to outages caused by storms. Now the Maryland Public Service Commission has set up a work group to hammer out what should be included , such as penalties for not meeting the standards as well as a cost-benefit analysis.
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NEWS
By Jonathan D. Libber | May 19, 2014
By now, many people are aware that in order to opt out of a smart meter installation, an upfront fee of $75 - payable in three installations starting July 2014 - and an additional $11 to $17 per month will need to be paid, as ordered by the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC). While my organization, Maryland Smart Meter Awareness (MSMA), is certainly grateful that the PSC decided to grant a permanent opt out, the fees greatly undermine public choice as only those who can afford to pay will be able to opt out. Nevertheless, many people who for reasons of health, privacy or safety, would strongly prefer to keep their analog meter, will be forced to accept a smart meter due to these fees.
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BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | September 29, 2011
The Maryland Public Service Commission took the first step toward requiring that the state's electricity utilities, including Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., agree to long-term deals to purchase power from a potential new plant in the state. In an order issued Thursday, the state energy regulator said Maryland "continues to face the threat of insufficient new capacity. " There has been little new power generation added to the state since Maryland deregulated its plants a decade ago. According to the order, the state's utilities must issue by Oct. 7 a request for proposals.
NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | October 26, 2012
Utility and emergency response officials prepared for the worst Friday as Hurricane Sandy churned northward, readying for nearly a foot of rain, hurricane- or tropical storm-force winds, and power outages that could number in the hundreds of thousands. As Gov. Martin O'Malley declared a state of emergency Friday to ready relief supplies and mobilize the National Guard, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. officials hurried to muster 2,000 out-of-state utility workers. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and county government leaders urged residents to prepare.
BUSINESS
By Andrew Leckey and Andrew Leckey,Tribune Media Services | October 21, 1992
Batten down the hatches. Some shelter from low interest yields and persistent stock market gyrations is still available in 1992 in the form of good old electric utility stocks.Many investors fleeing low certificate of deposit rates or bouncing stock prices have lately turned to these stable high-yield choices in increasing numbers. Judging from letters received, the readers of this column can't seem to get enough utility stock recommendations these days."With certificate of deposit money yielding around 3.5 percent, the average yield of more than 6 percent for the group of 80 utilities I cover certainly looks good," observed Bert Kramer, utilities analyst for PaineWebber Inc., who considers utilities a cross between a bond and stock because they offer current yield and some growth.
BUSINESS
By Andrew Leckey and Andrew Leckey,Tribune Media Services | October 27, 1993
Preferring the fireworks of megabuck technology and communications mergers, many investors are switching off electric utilities.This conservative stock group is up about 12 percent this year, but had been up 17 percent before investors began taking profits.No longer are all electric utilities alike, for some will cope better with the trend to deregulation and competitive pricing. Nor can interest rates be counted on to continue falling, a trend that not only helped the industry's bottom line, but made its dividend yields attractive.
BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | October 23, 1994
Electric utility stocks have tanked 20 percent or more only seven times in the last 50 years, but 1994 has been one of them.Investors can blame higher interest rates. And if history is any measure, rising rates may weigh in for awhile: although two of the declines did end within a year, the average length of the previous collapses was 17 1/2 months and the average drop was nearly 30 percent.But if you want to play a utility fund, know its strategy: Does it go for high yield, or concentrate more on high-quality utilities better placed to withstand new competition?
BUSINESS
By BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS | November 26, 1996
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Power Co. said yesterday that it will buy PanEnergy Corp. for $9.8 billion in stock and debt, adding one of the largest U.S. natural gas pipeline companies to its electric utility.The transaction, which offers $50 a share in stock, will allow Duke to sell electricity and natural gas to consumers in new ways, bundling its role as a resource supplier with its expertise on how to reduce energy consumption.PanEnergy, which has 37,000 miles of pipelines, also adds a faster-growing business to Duke, a regulated utility.
BUSINESS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN STAFF | April 11, 1999
Everyone smiled and posed together for snapshots in Annapolis on Thursday as Gov. Parris N. Glendening signed into law legislation enabling Marylanders to shop for cheaper electricity, starting next year.But the camaraderie will be short-lived. The armies of lawyers and lobbyists who clashed before the General Assembly over restructuring the electric power industry plan to carry their fight to the Public Service Commission in Baltimore. The decisions of that body of regulators will determine whether the new law is seen as a success or failure.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | July 22, 2012
Cathy Pelekakis, who was without power for six days after the June derecho, quickly made a few calls to complain: to her state representative, the Baltimore County executive and the Maryland Public Service Commission. Next on her list: a letter to Comcast. "I don't appreciate the fact they are charging me for services that I never received through no fault of my own," says the 60-year-old Dundalk resident. "I'm going to ask them to compensate me for that time. … It's not much, $5 or $10. It's the principle behind it. " Thousands of Marylanders are likely feeling much the same.
NEWS
By Brian Frosh and Jim Rosapepe | October 9, 2012
Whether or not they accept the scientific evidence that climate change is man-made, Maryland businesses and families with electric lights know that climate change has already had a dire economic impact on our region. Unprecedented weather extremes have pummeled our state and power distribution system. Crippling storms and heat in the summer and snow storms in the winter, previously rare in Maryland, have become commonplace. Such extreme weather events dramatically increase the risk to Maryland's old-fashioned electric utilities, which were built and are managed for a 1950s economy - and climate.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | July 22, 2012
Cathy Pelekakis, who was without power for six days after the June derecho, quickly made a few calls to complain: to her state representative, the Baltimore County executive and the Maryland Public Service Commission. Next on her list: a letter to Comcast. "I don't appreciate the fact they are charging me for services that I never received through no fault of my own," says the 60-year-old Dundalk resident. "I'm going to ask them to compensate me for that time. … It's not much, $5 or $10. It's the principle behind it. " Thousands of Marylanders are likely feeling much the same.
NEWS
By Gar Alperovitz | February 21, 2012
City finances have long been under pressure, but the Great Recession and steady attacks on federal and state spending have compounded local financial difficulties. The National League of Cities' annual research brief, City Fiscal Conditions, documents rapid deterioration. Reported revenue declines of 2.5 percent in 2009 and 3.2 percent in 2010 were unprecedented in severity in the 25-year history of the survey. In 2010, 79 percent of cities reported cutting personnel, 44 percent cut services, 25 percent cut public safety spending, and 17 percent cut current employees' health benefits.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | September 29, 2011
The Maryland Public Service Commission took the first step toward requiring that the state's electricity utilities, including Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., agree to long-term deals to purchase power from a potential new plant in the state. In an order issued Thursday, the state energy regulator said Maryland "continues to face the threat of insufficient new capacity. " There has been little new power generation added to the state since Maryland deregulated its plants a decade ago. According to the order, the state's utilities must issue by Oct. 7 a request for proposals.
BUSINESS
By Liz F. Kay | March 28, 2011
As we've told you before , state legislators and regulators are trying to design service reliability standards for Maryland's electric utilities intended to establish what's expected from the companies in terms of tree trimming, customer service and response to outages caused by storms. Now the Maryland Public Service Commission has set up a work group to hammer out what should be included , such as penalties for not meeting the standards as well as a cost-benefit analysis.
NEWS
By PAUL ADAMS and PAUL ADAMS,SUN REPORTER | July 8, 2006
Regulatory decisions affecting things as diverse as Constellation Energy Group's proposed $10.8 billion merger and taxi fares in Cumberland remain in limbo as the legal drama over the legislature's firing of the state Public Service Commission continues, legal and industry experts said yesterday. As a result of yesterday's court decision to temporarily block implementation of legislation replacing members of the commission, parties involved in about two dozen cases pending before the PSC remain uncertain who will preside over their hearings and when they will be heard.
BUSINESS
By Andrew Leckey | October 3, 1990
Electric utilities. That's the ticket.They're defensive, recession-proof, high-yielding and trading at 52-week lows. Just the sort of safe passage you need in a stock market that's being rocked day in and day out by volatility.But before you get that ticket punched just yet, realize that electric utilities don't always mean a pleasure cruise. They are vulnerable to interest rates and inflation. State regulators are getting tougher with rate requests. Federal acid rain legislation fTC will prove costly to some companies.
BUSINESS
By Andrew Leckey and Andrew Leckey,1987 Tribune Media Services, Inc | January 23, 1991
Whenever there is economic or political turmoil, electric utility stocks shine brightly.Historically, these defensive investments never fall as much in down stock markets as most other groups. For example, during the last 12 months, when the Standard & Poor's 500 was down more than 10 percent, electric utilities as a group slipped a more modest 7 percent."In recession, electric utilities are a safe haven offering dividend yields averaging around 7.4 percent, compared to 3.4 percent for the average stock," said William Tilles, analyst with Dean Witter Reynolds Inc.Keep in mind, however, that corporate users of electricity may well cut back their use if they've had to scale back business efforts for economic reasons.
BUSINESS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | August 16, 2005
Reliant Energy Inc. reached an agreement to pay $460 million to settle claims that it unfairly profited from the West Coast energy crisis in 2000 and 2001, company executives and state officials said yesterday. The settlement will cover several claims brought by electric utilities, ratepayers and officials from three states - California, Oregon and Washington - and it will bring the total fines and settlements that Reliant has paid to $525 million. Reliant, based in Houston, and other power companies including Enron Corp.
BUSINESS
By Paul Adams and Paul Adams,SUN STAFF | May 6, 2005
About 7,000 Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. customers have been paying too much for electricity because of a software glitch on meters designed to reward those who cut power usage during times of peak demand, the company said yesterday. The software, developed by an outside vendor, failed to register discounts for weekend electricity usage, which is supposed to be billed at a lower rate for residential customers who participate in a conservation program that dates to the early 1990s. Only a fraction of the company's 1.2 million electric customers participate in the program.
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