HAGERSTOWN, MD- After spending nearly a week without power when a severe storm hit the area months ago, residents were able to speak up about the services utility companies provided when it came to restoring power.
"The commission will often have different types of hearings," says Todd Meyers, spokesperson for Potmac Edison. "They'll have some hearings to collect public comment in various areas just to know what the public thinks about to know what customers think about the restoration effort."
The Public Service Commission has released a report about the performance of utility companies in Maryland. Their observations state "utility companies need to be more responsive to outages...improve communications (with customers)...and develop strategies to address the needs of vulnerable populations."
Utility officials say the storm that ripped through Maryland in the summer left about 72,000 Potomac Edison customers without power for several days.
"About 88 percent of the 72,000 customers who were out of power, we had them restored in about four days and 95 percent were back on in five days," says Meyers.
But according to the PSC's report "people expressed concern over recurring outages in certain areas, the lack of reliable estimated times of restoration and adequate staffing."
"We anticipated the order," says Meyers. " The order has a lot of things to look at and there's many deadlines embedded throughout the order for different kinds of information that the PSC wants from us."
Utility officials say the unseasonable heat made the power outages feel worse during a time of crisis.
According to the PSC report, fallen trees and limbs that interfered with power lines accounted for about 32 million hours of service throughout Maryland.