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Md. OKs Allegheny Power plan to refund charges for light-bulb program

March 20, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

The Maryland Public Service Commission on Wednesday approved Allegheny Power's proposal to refund customers for an energy-conservation surcharge, a PSC spokeswoman said.

LaWanda Edwards, the spokeswoman, said the PSC agreed to Allegheny's plan to credit customers who paid the surcharge as part of a light-bulb distribution program.

After getting numerous complaints from people who thought the bulbs were free, the PSC -- which originally approved it -- criticized how the program was handled.

In January, Allegheny officials conceded that the utility made mistakes and agreed to cancel the program.

Wednesday's PSC hearing was a formality allowing Allegheny to refund surcharge money collected from Oct. 3, 2007, to Jan. 16, 2008.

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The surcharge was 96 cents a month, which, for the 12-month program, would have meant a total of $11.52 per customer for two energy-efficient bulbs.

Allegheny has apologized to customers through a full-page ad in The Herald-Mail and through a notice in the last bill.

Allegheny spokesman David Neurohr said Wednesday the utility still encourages customers to use the compact fluorescent light bulbs to save money and energy.

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