WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Montgomery County Council's Berliner Addresses Pepco Rate Hike Request

Play associated audio
Power lines in Hillmeade, Md.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rawb/98886840/
Power lines in Hillmeade, Md.

Pepco has asked Maryland regulators for a rate increase  —one that would add about $7 to residential customers' monthly bill.

Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner says the utility company's latest move makes him feel like he's in the movie Groundhog Day. Just four months ago, Maryland's Public Service Commission rejected most of another Pepco rate hike request.

"This is not uncommon in the world of utility rate making," he says. "There's an expression that's called 'pancaking' where you file one rate increase on top of another rate increase, on top of another rate increase."

Pepco's response to Superstorm Sandy was well-regarded by most, even Berliner, but he's quick to add that doesn't mean Pepco should get the rate hike it's asking for.

"I would be surprised if the commission thinks that their performance to date justifies an increase in their return on equity," he says. "But that is why we have an independent commission, and I'm hopeful and guardedly confident that they will do the right thing."

Pepco says it wants the rate hike, which would amount to about $7 extra on each customer's monthly bill, because of all the system upgrades it has made in the past two years, which the utility says has led to fewer outages. Berliner does agree that Pepco has provided better service lately.

"But when you are on the bottom, there's only one way to go," he says.

The Public Service Commission is expected to make its decision next summer.

NPR

Shante, He Stays: RuPaul Reflects On Decades Of Drag — And 2 Emmy Nominations

RuPaul is the most recognizable drag queen in America. His hit show, RuPaul's Drag Race is up for two Emmy Awards as it begins filming its ninth season. But drag, he says, will never be mainstream.
NPR

Food World Rallies For Quake-Hit Amatrice, Home Of Famous Pasta Dish

In Italy and the U.S., restaurants are pledging to use sales of Amatrice's signature dish, spaghetti all' amatriciana, to raise funds for the Italian town devastated by Wednesday's earthquake.
NPR

Former White House Doctor Outlines Gray Areas In Candidates' Health

NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Rob Darling, a former White House physician, about how much voters have a right to know about the medical histories of presidential candidates.
NPR

WhatsApp Will Start Sharing Data, Including Phone Numbers, With Facebook

It will also test new ways for businesses to communicate with users on the app. The privacy policy changes mark the long-expected move by Facebook to begin making money from the free app.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.