Maryland business year in review
• See more 2013 Year in Review
Rising bills( Algerina Perna, Baltimore Sun / January 10, 2013 )
Among Maryland utilities, 2013 was the year of numerous requests for more money.
Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. won state approval for higher distribution rates in February, then three months later asked for another increase. BGE officials said they would need to make frequent requests to get reimbursed for a faster pace of infrastructure work and tree trimming, costs they pitched as necessary for improving reliability and safety.
Pepco, the D.C. utility with customers in Montgomery and Prince George's counties, also had two Maryland rate cases this year.
But requests to raise your utility costs aren't limited to distribution rates anymore. Utilities are asking for infrastructure-related surcharges now, too.
BGE requested a monthly surcharge on electric customers as part of its most recent rate case — to be decided by Dec. 13. The company's request worked out to about 34 cents a month on a typical residential bill in the first year, rising to 75 cents by the fifth and final year. And BGE is seeking a surcharge on gas customers in a separate case, expected to be decided early next year.
Pepco won approval for an infrastructure surcharge this summer, a first for the Maryland Public Service Commission. The decision brought court challenges from consumer advocates, still ongoing as of early December.
—Jamie Smith Hopkins