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Senator wants to stop utility charge during outage

Thursday - 7/12/2012, 1:20pm  ET

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A Maryland state senator wants to stop allowing utilities to charge a fee to cover storm-related losses, even after many customers had to go without power for days.

Sen. Brian Frosh, D-Montgomery, said in an interview Thursday that the current policy isn't fair to ratepayers because it makes them pay for a service they aren't getting. Plus, he says it provides all the wrong incentives to utilities.

Maryland allows utilities to charge a fee for the first 24 hours after a storm that causes widespread outages.

The Public Service Commission earlier this year limited the time to 24 hours. However, Frosh says utilities can ask the PSC for permission to levy more fees.

Frosh backed legislation to stop the practice last year, and it failed by a narrow margin.

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