Courtesy of Citybizlist – The Maryland Public Service Commission has approved with conditions the application to merge Exelon Corporation (Exelon), Constellation Energy Group (CEG),Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) and Exelon Energy Delivery Company, LLC.
The PSC’s approval lists 40 conditions, including requirements that the new company create a $113.5 million Customer Investment Fund to invest in energy efficiency and low-income energy assistance and provide a $100 rate credit to BGE residential customers within 90 days. The conditions also include enhanced ratepayer protections, such as the strengthening of certain aspects of BGE’s existing ring-fencing conditions and safeguards against the new company’s ability to increase wholesale electricity prices by exerting market power.
The Commission conducted evidentiary hearings into the proposed merger, including live testimony from 37 witnesses, 75 pre-filed testimony submissions, 371 exhibits, a transcript of almost 4,000 pages and three evening public comment sessions. The Commission stated in its Order that, as filed originally on May 25, 2011, “this Merger raised serious concerns” and that “[a]fter a comprehensive review, we can say that we could not have approved it in its original form.” With appropriate conditions, the Commission determined that the proposed Merger is finally “consistent with the public interest, convenience and necessity, including benefits and no harm to ratepayers.” The conditions were designed to protect ratepayers and to ensure benefits to consumers, which fulfill the requirements of Section 6-105 of the Public Utilities Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.