The Maryland Office of People's Counsel celebrates 100 years

The Maryland Office of People's Counsel celebrates 100 years of advocacy and looks forward to many years to come. The image is courtesy of The Maryland Office of People's Counsel. 

MARYLAND - The Maryland Office of People’s Counsel is celebrating a significant milestone this year: 100 years of advocating for the state’s utility customers. Established on June 1, 1924, by the Maryland General Assembly, the Office of People's Counsel was the first consumer advocate office in the nation. In its early days, the Office of People's Counsel focused on monopolies over streetcars and toll bridges, alongside electric and gas utilities.

Over the past century, the Office of People's Counsel has adapted to numerous changes in technology and market structures. Despite these changes, the core mission of the Office of People's Counsel remains steady: protecting Maryland residents from the economic interests of government-sanctioned utility monopolies. This mission has involved ensuring fair treatment of utility investors and preventing overcharging of customers.

Looking ahead, the Office of People's Counsel faces the significant challenge of addressing the climate crisis, which has considerable implications for utility customers, particularly lower-income households. The Office of People's Counsel aims to support state climate goals while striving to minimize costs for customers. Additionally, the Office of People's Counsel is working to overcome the slow adoption of new rules and reduce ongoing investments in fossil fuel infrastructure.

As the Office of People's Counsel embarks on its second century, the office remains dedicated to ensuring safe, reliable, affordable, and environmentally sustainable utility services for all Maryland residents. The team stands firm upon the values of integrity, respect, excellence, diligence, and transparency in their work. Celebrating 100 years, The Office of People's Counsel looks forward to continuing its essential advocacy for many decades to come.