Pepco Puts In Request For Another Rate Increase | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Pepco Puts In Request For Another Rate Increase

Play associated audio
The utility has been the subject of criticism due to slow outage response times.
Markette Smith
The utility has been the subject of criticism due to slow outage response times.

Pepco is asking Maryland regulators for another rate increase, filing a rate hike request today with the Maryland Public Service Commission. The utility is seeking an additional $43 million. 

Pepco Region President Donna Cooper says the average customer would have to pay about $4.80 more per month or about 16 cents a day.

Pepco says it needs the money to pay for the upgrades it has made since 2010 to improve its reliability after a series of thunderstorms that summer left thousands of customers without power for up to and over a week. 

"Significant capital is needed to maintain and upgrade the system," Cooper says. "Therefore the company requires this rate increase to pay for those investments.  And this is in the best interest of our customers."

The utility says that, since then, the number and length of outages has dropped roughly 40 percent.

But critics say Pepco was among the worst in both categories nationwide in 2010, and its improvement was easy to achieve considering how poorly the utility was peforming then.

In a statement, Montgomery County councilman Roger Berliner says he expects the Maryland Public Service Commission to reduce Pepco's request when it makes a decision in July. In particular, Berliner is upset that Pepco would use some of the money from the rate hike to increase the return on equity for shareholders by roughly one percent. 

He says that while Pepco has improved, it still ranks in the bottom half nationally in utility performance, which Berliner believes is not good enough to merit shareholders making more money from a rate hike.

A decision from the Public Service Commission is expected in July. The commission approved a partial rate hike in Maryland earlier this year.

NPR

No Small Feat: The NBA's Shortest Player Never Gave Up

At 5 foot 3, Muggsy Bogues holds the record as shortest player in NBA history. Criticism of his height started on the basketball courts of the Baltimore projects, and continued well into his career.
NPR

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

Around the world, new gin distilleries are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. NPR traces the boom to its historic roots in London, which once had 250 distilleries within the city limits alone.
NPR

Ranting And Throwing Papers: An Angry Candidate Runs For Congress

State Rep. Mike Bost's rants on the Illinois House floor are the stuff viral dreams are made of. Bost says he has good reason to be upset, and wants voters to share his anger.
NPR

Israel's Solar-Powered 'Trees': For Smartphones And Community

The man-made trees are designed to create a public space where people can gather and re-charge a battery — their own and their smartphone's.

Leave a Comment

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