Silver Chips Online

O'Malley signs Maryland Electricity Service Quality and Reliability Act

Bill passed 113 to 22 by the General Assembly before signed by governor

By Myla Sapp, Online Sports Editor
May 28, 2011
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed the Maryland Electricity Service Quality and Reliability Act (HB 391) into law on May 10, after the Maryland General Assembly passed the bill in a 113 to 22 member vote on April 11. Delegate Brian J. Feldman introduced the act to set specific standards for electric companies in Maryland in response to the extended power outages Pepco customers experienced last winter, according to Feldman’s 2011 Session Letter.

The Maryland Electricity Service Quality and Reliability Act (HB 391) was signed into law on May 10. Courtesy of brianjfeldman.com
The Maryland Electricity Service Quality and Reliability Act (HB 391) was signed into law on May 10.
Commonly referred to as the "Pepco Bill," HB 391 creates monetary penalties for Pepco and other local utility companies that do not meet designated government standards for service. The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) is required to set specific standards of service reliability for electric companies in Maryland by July 1 of next year, according to the bill.

According to the parameters of the bill, the regulations are expected to “implement specified service quality standards … account for major outages, and require an electric company to file a corrective action plan if it fails to meet service quality.” The PSC will impose strict economic penalties on insubordinate companies that do not meet the standard. For every day that utility companies fail to meet the terms, the PSC will inflict a $25,000 fine.

Feldman hopes that the act will be successful in promoting better service from electric companies. "I believe this legislation is a critical first step in holding Pepco fully accountable for its service performance and puts in place the necessary economic incentives for Pepco to improve the reliability of its system," he said on his website.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/10954