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No Regrets From Maryland Public Service Commission Chairman Douglas Nazarian Over Ordering Billing Pepco, BGE Customers For Lost Outage Revenue

7:14 PM, Jul 19, 2012   |    comments
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ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA) - During a sometimes heated 9 Wants to Know interview with the state official who approved Pepco and BGE billing customers for lost storm revenue, he said he has no regrets and he wouldn't acknowledge the storm of mounting anger.

See the video to watch the exchange.

"I heard a lot of different messages today and we're taking them all back," Maryland Public Service Commission Chairman Douglas Nazarian said. "I am not going to say anymore than I have said."

When confronted with the reality that everyone who spoke about the measure during a three hour hearing at the Montgomery County Council Chambers opposed it, he dismissed the message pointing to audience members who didn't express an opinion.

"I heard a lot of people didn't say one way or the other," Nazarian said. "I think I've explained, you're not paying for power that wasn't delivered."

Nazarian stayed consistent to Commission and Pepco talking points that customers aren't being billed for the actual purchase of electricity.

"I think I've explained, you're not paying for power that wasn't delivered," Nazarian said.

Consumer advocates say the billing is for the revenue the utilities lost from separate distribution charges, not actual kilowatts of power.

When pressed, Nazarian said the Commission will consider people's concerns, but did not propose change.

"We will be glad to look at it," Nazarian said. "I can't possibly commit in the course of an interview to change anything. We have to do this in a deliberate and careful way."

While Pepco has not provided an expected cost, BGE estimates customers will be billed about 50 cents a piece.

In a 2010 storm, Pepco was reimbursed about $1.4 million.

When asked if he regretted signing the order authorizing utilities to bill customers for the outage, he stood resolute.

"I do not regret the Bill Stabilization Adjustment or the change we made to it in January to make it more fair in storm situations, not at all," Nazarian said.

He lauded the bill because before, utilities could recoup even longer periods of outage compensation.

He acknowledged a petition started by Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer to get him fired, but said he is focusing on the work ahead.

To follow our ongoing coverage of the Pepco and BGE billing authorized by Nazarian's agency, follow Twitter.com/russptacek and Facebook.com/russptacek.

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