A recent decision by Maryland’s Public Service Commission (PSC) allowing electric utility companies to access millions of dollars in federal grants without public oversight or input violates the Commission’s regulatory responsibilities, the state agency representing ratepayers said this week in its latest filing.
The agency added that the decision also could divert funding away from the state’s policy goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions through clean energy projects and achieving climate resilience.
The controversy has been brewing since May 5, when the Office of People’s Counsel (OPC), an independent state agency representing Maryland’s utilities customers, filed a petition with the Public Service Commission, which oversees and regulates Maryland utilities.
In the petition, the OPC asked the commission to direct electric utilities in the state to disclose the plans and projects they planned to submit for grants under the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The petition said it is in the public interest that electric companies provide reports to the commission on any funding they have applied for and explain how they intend to use the funds in relation to the state’s policy goals, as well as any conditions that must be met to obtain the grant.