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Pepco Requests $43M Rate Increase

Councilman Berliner: Pepco's "overall performance has not risen to the level that justifies an increase in its return on equity."

Power graphic. Patch file photo.
Power graphic. Patch file photo.

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.

If granted, the request would increase the "average residential bill for its half-million customers in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties by $4.80 a month," The Washington Post reported.

"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.

>>>Read more about Pepco's rate increase request on the website for The Post.

MS December 05, 2013 at 11:21 AM
This article refers to Pepco's request for a rate increase to increase the distribution charges Pepco charges residential customers to deliver the electricity to their homes. These charges comprise about 1/3 of a Pepco bill. The cost of the actual electricity (commodity) supplied is 2/3 of a bill and is what a customer can lower if they take advantage of energy choice. Pepco is charging residential customers (rate class "R") 9.282 cents per kWh for electricity supply, which is 13% above the competitive market price for electricity in our area. You can choose the energy company that supplies the electricity delivered to you by Pepco and get your electricity at a lower price. Pepco delivers it as always, but you pay less for it. Direct Energy, the largest retail supplier of energy in North America, supplies electricity through Pepco to residential customers for 8.09 cents per kWh. It is an 18-month fixed-price offer, so you get the benefit of locking in that price for 18 months but there is no early termination penalty if the customer wants to quit the agreement. This means that if electricity rates go down in the future and you want to switch to another supplier you can do so without penalty. To get the 8.09 cents per kWh price, go to Direct Energy's enrollment website at www.directenergy.com/enroll and enter promotion code " EA003 " . You must enter the promo code to get the 8.09 price. If you enroll, Direct Energy notifies Pepco that they are your electricity supplier of record. Pepco continues to deliver your electricity as always, responds to issues, and does the billing as before but bills you for the electricity you use at Direct Energy's lower price. There is no service interruption. Nothing is connected or disconnected.
Jean Blake December 20, 2013 at 05:15 PM
That is news to me. I think there is a lot of information that is withheld from the general public. I hope this makes room for improvements. Jean Blake | www.aplusheatandair.ca/'

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