Derecho storm power outage hearing set in Baltimore

BALTIMORE (AP) - The Maryland Public Service Commission is holding a hearing on a policy that allows utilities to bill customers for lost revenue during the first 24 hours of a power outage.

The hearing is scheduled for Monday in Baltimore.

The commission is examining whether companies should be prohibited from collecting the money, if service is not restored within a certain period of time after a major outage.

Utilities had previously been allowed to charge customers throughout extended outages.

In January, the policy was changed to allow charges only during the first 24 hours after major storms.

The June storm known as a derecho caused outages to hundreds of thousands of Maryland customers.

Some were without power for about a week.

That prompted complaints about the 24-hour rule.