Maryland Public Service Commission

PEPCO Wants Hike, Blames Merger Delay

Potomac Electric Power Co. says merger delays are costing it money and it's asking the Maryland Public Service Commission to approve a rate increase.

PEPCO says savings achieved from its proposed merger with Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. would have absorbed the increased costs. The merger would form Constellation Energy.

The rate increase would be only for the utility's Maryland customers.

Baltimore Court Keeps Merger Case

The chief executive officers of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. and Potomac Electric Power Co. have expressed disappointment over a July 28 decision by a Baltimore County judge denying a motion to return their proposed merger case to the Maryland Public Service Commission.

The judge's decision will keep the merger proceeding before the Baltimore County Circuit Court.

"As we previously stated and made very clear to the court, we cannot merge in accordance with the terms of the current PSC order," said BGE Chair Christian Poindexter and PEPCO Chair Edward F. Mitchell.

Maryland Says Electric Merger Won't Harm Market

The merger of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. and the Potomac Electric Power Co. will not harm consumers by restraining competition in the electric market, according to the Maryland Public Service Commission.

The commission approved the merger provided Baltimore Gas and Electric lowers its customers' electric rates by $43.876 million and PEPCO lowers its Maryland customers' rates by $12.101 million. The competitive effect of the merger was still under examination at the federal level.

FERC, Maryland PSC Approve Constellation

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Maryland Public Service Commission have approved the merger of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. and Potomac Electric Power Co. to form Constellation Energy Corp.

However, the stiff terms for approval (em including mandatory rate cuts (em have prompted the utilities to claim they might abandon the merger.

Maryland Gas Pilot Offers Choice

Columbia Gas of Maryland (CGM), a subsidiary of The Columbia Gas System, Inc., has asked the Maryland Public Service Commission to approve its "Customer Choice Pilot Program," which would allow 10,000 residential customers to choose their natural gas supplier.

The proposed two-year pilot would begin November 1, and any gas purchased from another supplier would be exempt from the state's 2-percent gross receipts tax. "Our large industrial and commercial gas users have been able to choose their natural gas suppliers for many years," says Gary J.

AT&T Enters Local Market in Maryland

The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) has authorized AT&T Communications of Maryland, Inc. to compete with local exchange telephone carriers (LECs) throughout the state as a "co-carrier and reseller." According to the PSC, AT&T plans to enter the LEC market as a reseller, expanding over time to offer a full range of facilities-based services.

By separate order, the PSC opened a new proceeding to set wholesale prices for the components of local exchange services.

Maryland Still Short on Telephone Numbers

Despite a 1992 decision to add a new area code to prevent the projected exhaustion of telephone numbers, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved a plan to provide additional numbering capacity within exchanges by requiring 10-digit dialing for all customers. Future telephone lines would be assigned a new area code under the approved plan, but no existing customers would be required to change their current telephone numbers.


Anyone on the East Coast can tell you a good snow story this winter. Like when I looked out my front window one morning and saw a four-wheel-drive utility vehicle get stuck in the middle of my street in downtown Washington. After spinning his wheels for a while, the driver got out and began walking toward Connecticut Avenue, a main DC thoroughfare.

The driver soon returned, carrying a fresh, steaming cafe latte from Starbucks in each gloved hand. He opened the door, climbed in, and gave one cup to his passenger.

Md. Rejects Restrictions on Diversification

The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) has decided against requiring regulated utilities to obtain prior approval for nonutility activities or diversification plans. The PSC also rejected a proposal that utilities pay a royalty to consumers of regulated services to account for

intangible benefits gained by the unregulated subsidiaries. The case involved complaints regarding merchandise and appliance services provided by Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. (BG&E).

Maryland Opts for "Measured" Restructuring

The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) has completed its investigation of market competition and regulatory policies for the electric industry. The PSC chose a "measured approach," ruling against retail wheeling at this time while permitting, but not requiring, utility proposals for performance-based ratemaking.

The PSC described electricity rates in the state as "globally competitive," noting that Maryland's utilities were not encumbered by a lot of expensive nuclear power plants or high-cost cogeneration contracts.