Maryland's public service commission yesterday ordered Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. to refund $32 million to its customers, plus interest, because of alleged fuel interest, because of alleged fuel overcharges last year.
The agency's decision came just hours after the utility's officials had raised BG&-E's quarterly dividend rate and announced lower first-quarter earnings at the annual meeting of stockholders.
According to the regulatory commission, BG&E used incorrect accounting procedures for its nuclear power plant at Calvert Cliffs, resulting in the overcharges. Commissioner William Baldwin gave the company two weeks to submit a plan for refunding themoney.
Baltimore Gas officials declined to comment on the PSC action pending a study of the order and Baldwin said he did not know whether the refunds would be made in the form of cash or deducations from future bills.
Before the agency's decision was announced, BG&-E directors had voted to increase quarterly dividends to 54 cents, a share (up from 52 cents, paid since last April), starting with a July 1 distribution to stockholders of record June 10.
Black & Decker Manufacturing Co., a Maryland tool manufacturer, reported higher sales and profits for the six months ended March 27.Earnings rose 22 per cent to $26.8 million (64 cents a share) compared with $22 million (53 cents) a year earlier, as sales advanced 9 per cent to $422 million.