|Pepco Asks for More|
|Written by Clean Currents Resi|
|Wednesday, 25 April 2012 15:27|
If you live in Maryland or Washington, DC and reside in the Pepco utility service territory, the non-energy/generation part of your electric bill could be increasing soon if the utility has its way.
Pepco has asked the regulators in both DC and Maryland to allow it to increase distribution rates, ostensibly to recover costs associated with improving reliability, clearing tree branches, and to replace aging equipment. In Maryland, Pepco’s rate increase will hit the average home to the tune of $5.50 a month. In the District, the rate increase will be about the same.
You may remember that this is the very same utility that ranked at the bottom of the nation in reliability, and was hit with a $1 million fine by Maryland regulators after they concluded Pepco conducted a sub-par job of keeping power flowing, particularly during storms, and communicated poorly with its customers.
Consumer groups, including AARP, and elected leaders such as Del. Al Carr have spoken out against the proposed increases. Critics argue that Pepco should not get paid additional money for what it is supposed to be doing in the first place. While all this is happening, Pepco and other utilities in Maryland get to collect funds to run the “Empower Maryland” program. This program is designed to increase energy efficiency through various incentives that encourage consumers to reduce energy use or invest in energy efficient upgrades. There are many great aspects to this program, but one does have to wonder if the utilities are the best vehicle for the state to use to promote it?
Given Pepco’s track record, it may make more sense to run an RFP and have private companies bid to run the program. Energy efficiency experts like ecobeco or terralogos could probably do a more efficient job. Clean Currents would be up for the task as well. We know how to communicate on green issues to consumers. In the end, running Empower Maryland through other companies would probably save ratepayers money as well, another benefit for consumers.
I'm like many mothers I know, concerned about the planet our kids will inherit and overwhelmed by daily life. Clean Currents made it simple and affordable to switch to 100% wind power, without breaking my back or the bank.
- Residential Customer Michelle Culp