Task force considering an electric bill surcharge to upgrade power lines

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - In July, tens of thousands were in the dark.

Some for a full week after the Derecho.

Because of that and other massive power outages over the years, the Governor assembled a task force to look into ways electric companies can service customers better.

And one of those recommendations is to charge you more.

A dollar or two surcharge on your electric bill to go towards upgrades to power lines.

"Strengthening it so that it can withstand the frequent and violent weather events that we are seeing in the area."

Some lawmakers feel this surcharge by your electric provider is unnecessary.

"It's supposed to be a part of their budget already."

With all the recent outages some customers aren't willing to pay more for their service."

"When they don't provide you electricity, that's unfair."

"I think we pay too much already."

The Governor says electric companies would have to prove the dollar or two surcharge a month goes to upgrades to the infrastructure, saying the surcharge is better than paying for things destroyed during a power outage.

"I think people would rather pay a dollar a month to insure that their electricity would stay on so they won't have to pay for $18 to $20 worth of food you have to throw out after an outage."

The surcharge can only be implemented if it's approved by the public service commission, which oversees Maryland's electric providers.

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