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NEWS
April 3, 2008
In the final week of a legislative session, bills have a way of dying and then reviving. So it wasn't too shocking that the Senate yesterday reanimated Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposal to promote energy conservation one day after killing the measure. The real surprise was the continued false portrayal of the bill as a choice between giving money to ratepayers or handing it over to faceless bureaucrats. Looking out for ratepayers' interests should be regarded as more than taking a politically expedient opportunity to lower everyone's monthly bills by little more than a dollar.
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NEWS
February 8, 2013
I don't understand why utilities are asking for or would be granted the right to charge ratepayers to fund capital improvements like replacing aging infrastructure ("Utility surcharge bill advances in Senate," Feb. 6). Haven't we ratepayers been paying for these depreciating assets all along over their lifetimes? Isn't it the responsibility of the owners (stockholders, etc.) to provide capital? Why should ratepayers be "taxed" to cover costs that are rightly the responsibility of owners?
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BUSINESS
By Ross Hetrick and Ross Hetrick,Staff Writer | October 8, 1993
More than half a million dollars of ratepayers' money was used to subsidize Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.'s nonregulated appliance and electronics business last year, according to an independent study released yesterday.The report, conducted by the national accounting firm of Ernst & Young, confirmed repeated charges levied by competitors that BG&E's regulated utility business was helping support its merchandise business. Paid for by BG&E, the study was ordered by the Public Service Commission (PSC)
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | February 5, 2013
A bill that would allow a surcharge of up to $2 a month on residential utility bills to pay for new gas pipelines appears to be advancing on a fast track in the General Assembly. The legislation would let the Maryland Public Service Commission grant the surcharge so utilities such as BGE could speed up replacement of aging pipelines. The state Senate gave preliminary approval to the measure Tuesday after a lively debate; the House of Delegates approved it Monday. Final votes on the measure, which appears likely to pass, are expected by the end of the week.
NEWS
By Martin O'Malley | September 16, 2009
This week the Maryland Public Service Commission began a public hearing into Constellation Energy's proposed $4.5 billion sale of half its nuclear assets to a huge French company, EDF. As currently proposed, the deal appears to be a good one for Constellation's CEO and his shareholders but presents enormous risks and no real benefits for more than 1.1 million ratepayers who depend on BGE to provide a vital service at reasonable rates. The PSC and the state have taken an active role in this proceeding not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because we have a legal obligation to do so. If not, we would abdicate our responsibility to protect the interests of BGE customers from Constellation - the same company that brought BGE to the verge of bankruptcy almost one year ago due to speculative trading practices and a massive $1.8 billion accounting error, while simultaneously bestowing an $87 million golden parachute on its CEO, according to a 2009 SEC filing.
NEWS
February 8, 2013
I don't understand why utilities are asking for or would be granted the right to charge ratepayers to fund capital improvements like replacing aging infrastructure ("Utility surcharge bill advances in Senate," Feb. 6). Haven't we ratepayers been paying for these depreciating assets all along over their lifetimes? Isn't it the responsibility of the owners (stockholders, etc.) to provide capital? Why should ratepayers be "taxed" to cover costs that are rightly the responsibility of owners?
BUSINESS
By Lyle Dennistonand Kim Clark | October 30, 1990
Customers of public utilities in Delaware, Virginia and 20 other states may be able to cut their monthly bills a little by asking courts to declare a portion of their rates unconstitutional in the wake of Supreme Court action yesterday.A brief order by the nation's highest court implied that ratepayers in some states -- excluding Maryland -- could file suits charging that utility stockholders, not customers, should pay for a utility's donations to charities.Maryland's Public Service Commission ruled in 1962 that utility companies could not pass through their charitable donations to ratepayers, said PSC spokesman Frank Fulton.
BUSINESS
By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,Sun reporter | February 27, 2008
Part of the settlement that was designed to open the state's electricity market to competition and lower prices could turn into a "billion-dollar windfall" for BGE's parent company - one paid for by the utility's customers, the Public Service Commission said during a hearing yesterday. But representatives for Constellation Energy Group Inc. said that scenario was unlikely to come from payments for the nuclear power plant portion of the 1999 settlement, which was agreed to by the company and state leaders.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,Sun reporter | March 4, 2008
The snarling between Constellation Energy Group and the state intensified yesterday as the company sued Maryland to recover $386 million it was forced to credit electric ratepayers, while legislators polished a bill that could compel more givebacks. It was the latest in the lengthy back-and-forth between Constellation and state officials over whether ratepayers got the short end of the 1999 deal that deregulated Maryland's electricity industry. The move was meant to lower prices, boost energy production and open the door for competitors, but it has resulted in ill will and severe price spikes after brokered rate caps expired.
BUSINESS
By Ross Hetrick and Ross Hetrick,Staff Writer | December 24, 1993
The Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. has won the first round in a Public Service Commission case over whether it is improperly subsidizing some of its nonutility businesses with ratepayers' money.In a decision released yesterday on prehearing motions, a PSC hearing examiner, Joel M. Bright, refused to bar BG&E from expanding its merchandise and service business during the course of the hearing. The hearing itself will begin in January and is expected to last several months.Mr. Bright said the PSC's authority on nonregulated businesses is limited to the effects they might have on the regulated utility business.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | May 22, 2012
Smart meter opponents asked state regulators at a hearing Tuesday to allow ratepayers to say "no" to new digital, wireless devices because of safety, privacy and security concerns. The Maryland Public Service Commission is considering whether utilities should permit customers to reject smart meters and keep their existing devices. The state's three largest utilities — Baltimore Gas and Electric, Pepco and Delmarva — are replacing millions of old electric and gas meters with new devices providing real-time data to consumers and utilities.
NEWS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | April 20, 2012
BGE's 1.1 million residential customers will get a nice surprise in their May bill: a $100 credit on their accounts. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. announced Friday that most customers will receive the credit by the end of May. The ratepayer relief is part of the merger between BGE's parent Constellation Energy Group and Chicago-based Exelon Corp. The two companies agreed to provide the rate credit under an agreement with Maryland energy regulators, which approved the deal in February.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | March 28, 2012
A bill that would have let gas utilities seek a surchage of up to $2 a month on customers' bill was shot down -- for a second time --  Wednesday by a bipartisan coalition of senators who contended the measure would let monopolies charge ratepayers up front for infrastructure improvements the companies now have to finance out of their own coffers. The Senate defeated the measure 22-24, reaffirming a similar vote earlier Tuesday. After the bill's original 22-23 defeat, a motion to reconsider passed, but a new debate Wednesday failed to reassure lawmakers that the bill provided sufficient safeguards for residential customers.
NEWS
February 16, 2012
Environmental expert Alex Pavlak pointed out some interesting facts regarding Governor O'Malley's offshore wind farm idea ("The energy is clean, but the system for getting it is not," Feb. 10). The governor's goal is to produce one-fifth of our energy needs by green methods by 2022. Mr. Pavlak points out that green energy costs roughly four times as much to produce as our current generators. A little simple math shows the average cost per kilowatt hour would double in today's dollars.
NEWS
January 1, 2012
As a BGE ratepayer, I'm strongly opposed to the Constellation-Exelon merger ("O'Malley praises Exelon-CEG deal," Dec. 16). For the third time since 2007, Constellation CEO Mayo Shattuck has been trying to engineer a buyout or merger of Constellation while doubling costs to BGE ratepayers, this time with a $13.4 million payday for himself. The primary legal responsibility of the Maryland Public Service Commission, as state Sens. E.J. Pipkin and James C. Rosepepe noted in a letter to agency, is to protect the best interests of BGE ratepayers.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | November 23, 2011
The Illinois Attorney General's Office has renewed its request to federal energy regulators for a hearing on Constellation Energy Group's plan to sell itself to Chicago-based Exelon Corp. In a brief filed Tuesday, Attorney General Lisa Madigan said the $7.9 billion deal would raise rates for customers of Exelon's ComEd utility, citing testimony by the company's executives during regulatory hearings before the Maryland Public Service Commission. The Illinois attorney general's office is among several groups that have objected to the deal on the grounds that the combined company would have two much control of electricity prices on the grid that serves much of the mid-Atlantic region.
NEWS
August 20, 1993
Did the Public Service Commission give the C&P Telephone Co. an extraordinarily favorable write-off of a huge pension obligation in order to help C&P pay for a fiber-optic network linking together every high school and college in Maryland?That's the impression left by the confluence of these two events. C&P's ratepayers, it appears, will indeed be footing a hefty portion of the bill for this statewide fiber-optic telecommunications system.That's not the way C&P is promoting this project, though.
BUSINESS
By Ross Hetrick and Ross Hetrick,Staff Writer | December 15, 1993
With its merchandise operation under fire for being subsidized by ratepayers, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. yesterday announced that it will establish a separate subsidiary for its merchandise and service businesses."
NEWS
September 4, 2011
Regarding BGE's restoration of electrical service after Hurricane Irene, I think I speak for many BGE customers when I say we understand the company's frustration: We appreciate their sending us our latest bill, which is very important to us and will be paid in the order in which all our other bills were received. Be assured that we will do everything in our power to pay it soon. We thank BGE for their continued patience. George Emil
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | July 21, 2011
Maryland's ratepayer advocate is objecting to Exelon Corp.'s proposed buyout of Constellation Energy Group, telling federal regulators that the combined company would have too much control of electricity prices on the grid that serves much of the Mid-Atlantic region. The Maryland Office of People's Counsel, which represents state consumers in matters involving utilities, joined with its Pennsylvania counterpart this week to ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to hold a hearing on the issue.
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