Washington Gas Light Company

Surcharges likely for gas pipeline replacement

Surcharges likely for gas pipeline replacement

When Maryland utilities replace their gas pipelines, customers have had to fork out extra money afterward — not during. But that's poised to change.

Both chambers of Maryland's General Assembly, citing safety concerns, approved measures this month that would make it easier for utilities to add infrastructure surcharges of up to $2 a month to natural-gas customers' bills. It's the latest push in a tug of war over the best and fairest way to replace the nation's aging utility infrastructure, the price tag for which has been estimated in the trillions of dollars.

Maryland utilities, including Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., say the proposal would allow them to more quickly...