On February 10, 2016, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) approved final retail market consumer protection rules (Docket RM54) for competitive electric and gas suppliers. These rules are expected to be published on March 4, 2016 and will become effective ten days later.
The new rules implemented include operational changes, as well as many additional consumer protections for residential and small commercial customers. For example, under the new rules a utility will implement “accelerated switching,” a more efficient process that allows a customer to switch supply service within three days. On the consumer protection side, the new rules include many safeguards including:
New standards applicable to agent on-boarding, including agent background checks, training, and identification;
Strict door-to-door sales, and notifications requirements;
Requires a Contract Summary to accompany the Agreement;
Strengthens the definition of consent and clarifies who may legally execute an energy supply contract; and
Requires notice to customers of a change in rate under certain circumstances.
At the hearing when the rules were adopted, Baltimore Gas & Electric and Pepco noted that that will likely seek extensions in order to comply with the new rules.
As we continually rely on clean and renewable energy sources, such as hydro, thermal, wind and solar, new challenges are presented with the impact their intermittent flow has on the grid. Storage of energy to reliably cover the times the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing requires a realistic solution. The electricity grid …
As we become more reliant on clean and renewable energy sources, such as hydro, solar, thermal and wind, new challenges are presented with the impact their intermittent flow has on the grid. The complex system that makes up the electricity grid requires supply and demand to be equal, and constant adjustments to the supply are …