Pepco asked the Maryland Public Service Commission on Wednesday for approval of a rate increase request of more than $43 million, according to a statement from the Montgomery County Council's office.
"Pepco is within its rights to seek such approval," Montgomery County Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda and Potomac), said in a statement, but "it is the responsibility of the [Maryland Public Service] Commission to scrutinize that request and ensure that only those expenditures that were prudently incurred and that are 'used and useful' are allowed to be passed through to ratepayers," he said.
Recent rate increase requests have not been fully met, Berliner added.
"In the most recent rate cases, the commission has found that Pepco had sought recovery of expenditures that were not proper and reduced their requests by more than 50 percent," Berliner said.
"While the number and duration of outages has improved since 2010 and their recent investments and actions have raised them from the lowest quartile nationally, in my view, its overall performance has not risen to the level that justifies an increase in its return on equity. It is still a utility that is ranked in the bottom half of all utilities in terms of performance," Berliner continued.
"That is not good enough for the residents of Montgomery County and it should not be good enough for the commission," he said.