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NEWS
August 21, 1991
Victor Cushwa, a member of the Public Service Commission and former state senator from Western Maryland whose booming voice helped make him a familiar figure in Annapolis, died Monday at Washington County Hospital in Hagerstown after a yearlong battle with lung cancer. He was 66.Services for Mr. Cushwa will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Hagerstown.Gov. William Donald Schaefer appointed Cushwa to a five-year term on the PSC in July 1990 after Cushwa resigned from the state Senate seat he had held since 1977.
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NEWS
May 26, 2014
As the leaders of Powerupmontco and Reliability4HOCO, two non-partisan electric utility consumer advocacy groups, we were frustrated with your recent editorial critical of gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur's electric utilities reform proposal ( "Short circuit," May 19). For nearly a decade, Pepco and BGE's electric utility monopolies have failed to adequately invest in their distribution systems. As a result of years of imprudent management by these utilities, ratepayers are forced to live with bottom-level power reliability ratings, "blue sky outages" and contact voltage hazards.
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BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | December 7, 2012
Maryland's utility regulator Friday criticized a decision that could alter electricity bidding rules in the region, saying the change would hurt consumers. The state Public Service Commission is upset with the proposed changes that PJM Interconnection, which runs the regional electric grid, is filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission after the PJM board voted in favor of the move this week. PJM electricity auctions, held to ensure there is enough power to meet demand, set a price that feeds into consumers' electricity bills in Maryland, a dozen other states and the District of Columbia.
NEWS
May 21, 2014
Regarding Jonathan D. Libber's critique of smart meters ( "BGE Smart Meter fees amount to 'protection money,'" May 19), I think building a "smart grid" is probably a good thing, but I certainly can't applaud the utility's means of going about it. Attempts to sell customers on their supposedly newfound ability to lower utility bills are laughable. We know how to do that now: use less heat and AC, cook during off-hours, do the laundry at 3 a.m. But imposing a penalty for "opting out" is not funny; it's absolutely galling and has no place in the Free State.
NEWS
November 10, 1998
THE OUTRAGE of the 11 households in the Bramble Hills subdivision near Westminster whose water utility rates skyrocketed 900 percent overnight is understandable. Homes were cut off by the private water company, before state intervention forced reconnection.One can also understand the problem faced by the new owner of the communal well: bills long unpaid by some users and unexpected expenses for one of the tiniest private water utilities in Maryland.The episode, though small in scope, highlights an important fact: safe, reliable drinking water is not free.
BUSINESS
By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,Sun reporter | September 15, 2006
A court decision expected to improve the progress of a $10.8 billion merger between Baltimore's Constellation Energy Group and a Florida utility instead has made it more difficult. Yesterday, the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that the legislature could not remove members of the Public Service Commission as a law had ordered this summer. But the court did not address a portion of the legislation that prohibits the sitting commission from taking final action on the merger. That means the commissioners can keep their jobs, but they can't rule on the merger, according to lawyers who quickly reviewed the opinion yesterday for The Sun. But what it means for the companies is still unclear.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | April 2, 2014
Maryland regulators have launched an investigation into the practices of several energy suppliers in the wake of winter rate spikes that drew howls of complaints from customers. The state Public Service Commission ordered five companies to demonstrate why they shouldn't be fined, have their licenses revoked or pay refunds to consumers. Those firms are American Power Partners, Blue Pilot Energy, Major Energy, Maryland Gas & Electric and XOOM Energy. Three did not respond to requests for comment.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | November 8, 2012
The $113.5 million that Exelon Corp. agreed to make available for innovative projects — a condition of regulatory approval for its purchase of Constellation Energy in Baltimore — was awarded Thursday to groups planning to help low-income customers, small businesses and others lower their energy bills. Exelon's Maryland regulator, the Public Service Commission, decided how to distribute the money after receiving 98 proposals. Baltimore will receive the largest single piece of the fund — nearly $53 million will go to the city government for projects to permanently lower energy bills through energy efficiency work such as weatherization, upgrades and lower-usage education.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho and Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | September 28, 2011
Maryland's consumer advocate wants the state energy regulator to conduct a "more in-depth investigation" into Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.'s performance in the wake of Hurricane Irene. The Office of People's Counsel, which represents consumers in utility matters, made the recommendation in a report filed Wednesday with the Public Service Commission, which is reviewing the response by BGE and other utilities to last month's storm. The PSC will hear from utilities in regulatory hearings starting Monday.
NEWS
April 28, 1994
An article yesterday about the state Public Service Commission approving the entry of a new local telephone service to Maryland incorrectly spelled the name of MFS Intelenet Inc.The Sun regrets the error.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | April 2, 2014
Opponents and supporters of plans to export liquefied natural gas from a Southern Maryland facility flooded state regulators with more than 60,000 letters Wednesday, the deadline for public comments on one aspect of the proposal. The Cove Point complex is currently an import plant. Energy company Dominion, which owns it, is seeking federal approval to construct an export facility there and state approval for the power plant the operation would need. Both the environmental and other groups opposing the plans and the unions supporting it delivered boxes full of letters to the state Public Service Commission on Wednesday — more than 60,000, the agency said.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | April 2, 2014
Maryland regulators have launched an investigation into the practices of several energy suppliers in the wake of winter rate spikes that drew howls of complaints from customers. The state Public Service Commission ordered five companies to demonstrate why they shouldn't be fined, have their licenses revoked or pay refunds to consumers. Those firms are American Power Partners, Blue Pilot Energy, Major Energy, Maryland Gas & Electric and XOOM Energy. Three did not respond to requests for comment.
NEWS
By Jonathan Lesser | March 25, 2014
The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) currently has an opportunity to ensure that Maryland consumers are not on the hook to pay for hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidized electricity that will be generated at Competitive Power Ventures' (CPV) St. Charles facility. The PSC should act in the best interest of Maryland consumers and repeal the subsidies. In 2011, power plant developers convinced the Maryland PSC, as well as their counterparts in New Jersey, to require the two states' respective electric utilities to enter into long-term contracts that would provide billions of dollars in subsidies to build new power plants.
NEWS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | March 22, 2014
Matt Kumpar paid $622 for the electricity his auto shop used in January, so he thought the February charge - a whopping $3,192 - was a mistake. It wasn't. The rate for his electric supply skyrocketed, a shift his provider blamed on abnormally low temperatures brought on by the polar vortex. "I was absolutely blown out of my socks," said Kumpar, owner of the Baltimore Collision Center in Remington. The frigid winter caused all sorts of energy market disruptions. Demand spiked.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | February 26, 2014
Maryland regulators said Wednesday that utility customers who don't want a smart meter will need to pay both upfront and monthly to forgo the technology, though the fees are lower than utilities sought. The fees will appear on bills after July 1 for customers who ask to keep their analog or older digital meters. All will be charged an initial fee of $75, the state Public Service Commission said, with monthly fees varying by utility. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customers would pay the lowest monthly fee, $11. The company had asked for a $15 monthly charge and a $100 upfront fee. "In this Order, we allocate to these opt-out customers the appropriate costs associated with their choice," wrote the majority of the five commissioners.
NEWS
December 19, 2013
Your report on the rate hike recently granted to BGE clearly demonstrates the importance of abolishing the Maryland Public Service Commission ("Md. approves BGE rate increase, surcharge," Dec. 13). In theory, the commissioners are supposed to regulate BGE and protect the taxpayers. However, in practice what they do is regulate the taxpayers and protect BGE. I've also concluded we should abolish the Maryland Office of People's Counsel. The office is a ploy used by the governor and the General Assembly to give the impression they are looking out for residential utility customers.
NEWS
June 17, 1992
The Columbia Association has received approval from the Public Service Commission to discount fares on Columbia buses (ColumBus) for teens enrolled as full-time students in the county school system.A one-year identification card will entitle students to 25 cents off the fare.The total family income must meet the Housing Urban Development Section 8 guidelines.
NEWS
November 3, 2009
Were officials correct to disqualify a cross country athlete from Hereford High School for a minor uniform violation, costing his school a first place finish? Yes 27% No 67% Not sure 6% (1,239 votes, results not scientific) Next poll: : Will the deal allowing Constellation Energy to sell half its nuclear business to the French EDF Group - approved by the Public Service Commission last week and the companies Monday - be good for Maryland? Vote at baltimoresun.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | November 24, 2013
Henry A. Minch, who had been assistant chief engineer for the Maryland Public Service Commission and a World War II veteran, died Nov. 15 of heart failure at College Manor Nursing Home in Lutherville. He was 92. The son of Frank Minch, a city firefighter, and Marie Minch, a homemaker, Henry August Minch was born and raised in East Baltimore. A Polytechnic Institute graduate, Mr. Minch enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1942 where he served as a motor machinist mate second class until being discharged in 1946.
NEWS
November 13, 2013
A revolt is brewing among Baltimore taxi and limo operators, who are protesting a new city tax of 25 cents per passenger that went into effect Oct. 1. The taxi owners claim the new tax will be difficult to collect and that they can't pass the additional cost on to consumers by raising their rates. So, in what they are calling an act of civil disobedience, the companies say they won't pay. Meanwhile, the city is insisting it will take them to court if they don't. Before things get ugly, the city and its cabbies need to take a step back from the hole they are digging for themselves and come up with a way to end the standoff that both sides can live with.
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