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Steve's News from Annapolis

2016-08-23

 

Recently, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) provided information on new regulations regarding new notification requirements by utilities for termination of service to customers.  Below is a modified copy of their press release.

I hope you have enjoyed the summer and please remember to watch out for students on our roadways as they return to school this week.

Best wishes,

Steve


Maryland Public Service Commission Adopts Theft of Energy Regulations; Announces Public Safety Opportunity for Local Governments

(BALTIMORE—August 16, 2016) – The Maryland Public Service Commission has approved final regulations that impose new notification requirements for service termination, utility reporting of theft of energy and allows local governments to access service termination information in order to provide assistance to individuals and families.  The regulations took effect August 15 and give utilities until January 1, 2017 to establish the local government notification system. 

Utilities may terminate service without notice if there are hazardous conditions on the premises, if the utility’s equipment has been tampered with, or if there is unauthorized use of electricity or gas service. If service is terminated due to an allegation of meter tampering, the utility must notify the occupants in person or by posting a written notice on the premises (or sending it by mail in certain instances). The notice must include safety precautions, including warnings of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning from portable generators, energy assistance and information on how to have service reconnected.  

“Our goal with these regulations is to make sure individuals and families have every avenue possible to obtain utility services in a way that is safe and lawful,” said W. Kevin Hughes, Chairman of the Maryland PSC. “This new process also gives local governments the information and resources they need to assist residents whose utility service has been terminated for theft or for use without an active account.”

After service at a premise is terminated due to an allegation of theft, the utility must notify the Commission within one day. The PSC will add the address of the service termination to an electronic database for access by local governments who may wish to provide assistance to the occupants.

Under the regulations, utilities must maintain records of service terminations due to allegations of energy theft for three years and file annual reports with the Commission.

In the event that theft of energy is not alleged but service is being used without an active account, a utility must now provide written notice to the occupant in person at least three days prior to service termination (seven days prior if the notice is mailed). The notice must also invite the occupant to apply for service and include utility contact information.

Delegate Steve Lafferty
Maryland House of Delegates, District 42
410-841-3487
stephen.lafferty@house.state.md.us

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