New Extreme Weather Termination Restrictions for Public Utilities

  ALERT

MD PSC EMERGENCY REGULATIONS

Extreme Weather Termination Restrictions

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has voted in favor of new regulations prohibiting terminations in both hot and cold extreme weather conditions. The intent of the new regulations is to protect residential ratepayers from service termination when dangerously cold or hot weather is likely in the immediate future. These regulations are a result of a 2009 law to extend extreme weather restrictions on service terminations.

The PSC voted to publish the regulations on both an emergency basis as well as the through the standard rule making process. The emergency regulations may be approved on or after February 11, 2010, unless a public hearing is requested by a member of the legislative (AELR) committee. Emergency regulations are in effect for six (6) months.

Upon the effective date, the regulations will prohibit terminations on any day for which the weather forecast made at 6:00 a.m. has a high temperature of 32 degrees or lower in winter, or 95 degrees or higher in summer, during the next three days. For example, if on Monday morning the forecast calls for a high of 35 degrees on Monday, but 28 degrees on Tuesday, terminations are prohibited for Monday. On Tuesday morning, the companies must check again. If the forecasted high is still 32 or lower on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, terminations are prohibited on Tuesday. If however, the forecast has changed and the high temperature forecast is above 32 for each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, then the companies are permitted to terminate service that day.

IMPORTANT: At the end of the meeting when the new rule was voted on, the Commission asked each company if they would begin complying with the new rule immediately rather than waiting until final approval. BGE, Pepco, Delmarva and Washington Gas and Light Company have filed with the PSC written statements of agreement to follow the new rule immediately.

We will send a new alert on the status of the emergency regulations and progress toward permanent adoption of the new rule over the next several months.

If you have any questions, please send an e-mail at DespinaS@opc.state.md.us, or call 410-767-8150 (1-800-207-4055) and ask to speak with Despina.

Maryland Office of People‚Äôs Counsel,  

6 St. Paul Street, Suite 2102,  

Baltimore, Maryland 21202,  

410-767-8150; 1-800-207-4055,  

www.opc.state.md.us

 

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