WASHINGTON (AP) — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is blasting Pepco for the pace of its efforts to restore power to customers who spent days in the dark after a winter storm.

O’Malley says in a letter sent Saturday to Pepco’s chairman that the utility’s restoration rate was “dismal.” He also says he was “outraged” by the utility’s customer service and by reports of a slow response in requesting aid from other jurisdictions.

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The Democratic governor says he will introduce legislation allowing the state to fine utilities for poor performance, with the money going back to the affected customers.

O’Malley notes that other utilities restored power more quickly.

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Eighty percent of Pepco customers had been restored by Saturday, while Baltimore Gas & Electric had restored power to 98 percent of its customers.

As of 6:15 p.m. Sunday, more than 1,900 Pepco customers still didn’t have power. More than 1,600 were in Montgomery County.

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