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Maryland State Senator Brian Frosh Proposes Outlawing Pepco And BGE Bills For Disconnected Customers' Lost Revenue

10:44 AM, Jul 17, 2012   |    comments
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BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA) - Our 9 Wants to Know Report exposing Pepco and BGE billing you for their outages - and the subsequent anger - could prevent it from ever happening again if a state lawmaker has his way.

Maryland customers still don't know how much they'll be billed for first those 24 hours BGE and Pepco lost revenue - but estimates vary from around nickels to dimes to under a dollar.

For many, it's being perceived as unfair nickel and diming and Maryland State Senator Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery Co.) wants to outlaw it with 20123 legislation in Annapolis.

Near Frosh's office in downtown Bethesda people on the streets are still angry about the outage - and although our report went viral online about Maryland Pepco and BGE customers being billed for 24 hours of lost storm income - many are just now learning it.

Click here to see our original story:  http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/212306/189/Maryland-Pepco-BGE-Customers-Will-See-Bill-For-24-Hours-Of-Lost-Storm-Income-In-Form-Of-Bill-Stabilization-Adjustment

"It shouldn't be no charge," said Pepco customer Ciara Hodge Pepco Customer in shock. "Yeah, I need to call them. I'm upset now ."

Frosh says consumer reaction like Hodge's, sparked by our story, could change the law.

"People were in the dark," Frosh said. "Your story lit the light bulb."

He says if constituent are calling other lawmakers like they're calling him, the reaction could influence the Maryland Statehouse to take action..

"The light bulb went on and people said, oh my God, I'm paying these boobs not giving me electrical service," said the Montgomery County senator said.

"Don't like it," said Pepco customer Dennise Orlando while walking on Wisconsin Avenue. "Why should you pay for something when you don't have it."

Frosh says, even though customers are only paying for the first 24 hours of lost revenues, and it could be less than a dollar a customer, he believes utilities shouldn't be allowed to charge anything when they can't deliver power.

"It's only 50 cents to you, but what are there, 500,000 Pepco customers, a million Pepco customers," Frosh estimated. "You're talking real money."

Just last year at the Maryland Statehouse, Frosh introduced an amendment outlawing outage bills altogether, but it failed on a tie vote.

A BGE spokesman said the revenues are not profit and are used to invest in services and equipment.

A Pepco spokesman declined to comment saying the utility had not seen the proposal.

To be first know know about developments in this date, follow Investigative Reporter Russ Ptacek on Twitter.com/russptacek or Facebook.com/russptacek.

If you know about utility company irregularities, government waste or corruption, 9 Wants to Know.  E-mail:  tips@wusa9.com.

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