BALTIMORE, Md. (WUSA) - Maryland Public Service Commission hearings this week into the eight day derecho power outage indicated Pepco and BGE would need to rebuild electrical grids to restore services more than a day or two faster.
Executives from both utilities testified that fortifying the system would mean putting much of the system underground.
Both regulators and utility executives agreed that consumers had made loud and clear the position that the week-long outage this summer was unacceptable.
MPSC Chairman Douglas Nazarian said consumers and politicians he'd spoken to were closer to seeing 24 hours as the maximum acceptable blackout.
Pepco executives say current resources wouldn't allow the utility to underground enough cables and fortify the system to meet that expectation.
When we spoke to people on the streets of Baltimore outside the hearing room, some said they'd refuse to pay a penny, while others said they'd be willing to pay as much as $20 a month extra to speed recovery times.
According to our calculations, if all 1.7 million Pepco and BGE customers paid $10 extra a month for five years, that would raise over $1 billion.
Regulators, Pepco, and BGE alls said they hadn't priced what it would cost to reinforce the grid to recover closer to 24 hours.