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WASHINGTON GAS ENERGY SERVICES v. MARYLAND PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

In 2010, the Maryland Public Service Commission (“the Commission”) established the Purchase of Receivables (“POR”) program. Under the POR program, a utility such as Baltimore Gas and Electric (“BGE”) purchases a supplier’s receivables, which are amounts due to the supplier for electric or gas usage by the customers of the supplier. The POR program enables customers to pay a single utility bill, rather than paying separate bills for costs to the utility and supplier. After the utility purchases receivables, the amounts that had been due from the customer to the supplier become amounts due to the utility. The utility collects the amount due directly from the supplier’s costumers. The utility makes payments to a supplier through a mechanism called a “discount rate,” which takes into consideration various factors, such as implementation costs, credit risk, and program development. This appeal involves a dispute regarding certain discount rates which were applied during the 2011-12 (“Year 2”) and 2012-13 (“Year 3”) years.

Washington Gas Energy Services (“WGES”), appellant, contends that the Commission failed to follow the rules set forth in the POR program tariff when setting certain discount rates for Year 2 and Year 3 to zero. According to WGES, the Commission’s failure to follow the POR program tariff when calculating the applicable discount rate for Year 2 and Year 3 resulted in the over-collection of over $2 million of suppliers’ money by BGE. WGES further asserts that the Commission’s actions exceed the Commission’s jurisdiction by regulating supply pricing.

WGES asks that we order the Commission to instruct BGE to return the over-collected funds to suppliers. WGES presents a single question for our review, which we have rephrased as follows: Whether the Commission exceeded its statutory authority, employed unlawful procedure, or acted arbitrarily or capriciously when setting certain discount rates to zero for the Year 2 and Year 3.

Read the unreported opinion.

 

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