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PEPCO's Profits Targeted in Montgomery Co. Report

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Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett addresses county council members at the release of the report.
Matt Bush
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett addresses county council members at the release of the report.

The wide-ranging report touches on several issues and offers 30 recommendations to the utility on ways to improve its service reliability and customer outreach.

But Montgomery County council members focused on one finding when they received the report: the one noting that PEPCO's profits have not fallen even as its service has been the subject of much criticism during the past few years.

County Councilman Roger Berliner has been one of PEPCO's harshest critics, in part because his district includes Bethesda and Potomac -- two areas that have been hit hardest by power outages following storms the past two years.

"PEPCO is not responding to the kinds of free market signals that one would typically get for services that aren't particularly well done," Berliner says.

The Maryland legislature did pass a bill this year that would impose standards for reliability on PEPCO. But many county leaders say state lawmakers weakened the bill to the point that it will not have much impact, and that they will have to ask the legislature to revisit the measure next year.

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