August 5, 2013

Leggett Appeals Decision on Pepco Rate Increase; Seeks “reliable energy at a reasonable cost” for Residents

County Executive Ike Leggett has “instructed the County Attorney to file an appeal in Montgomery County Circuit Court to stop the recent ruling by the Maryland Public Service Commission approving a $27 million rate increase for Pepco….” as part of an ongoing campaign to ensure that residents get “reliable energy at a reasonable cost.”

The appeal also seeks to stop “an automatic ‘Grid Resiliency Charge’ that will allow Pepco to automatically pass along charges to customers every month without having to seek a rate increase with the Public Service Commission.”

In his statement, Leggett said, “I believe that Pepco has made improvements in their communications, infrastructure, and emergency response systems since last summer’s ‘Derecho’ storm. However, just how improved these changes are have not yet been seriously tested. That’s why granting even less than half of the $60 million requested by Pepco is premature and unwise.

“The Public Service Commission’s decision to allow Pepco, for the first time, to charge customers a ‘Grid Resiliency Charge’ every month is troubling. Even if limited to certain costs just now, it is a terrible precedent.

“I’m proud of the work done by our County Attorney’s office in aggressively opposing this rate increase, as well as the work our County has done both with Pepco and, conversely, pressuring Pepco to make the utility more accountable to the County residents and businesses that pay the bills.

“We will continue our ongoing efforts to make sure that Montgomery County gets reliable energy at a reasonable cost. This rate increase – and especially the automatic so-called ‘Grid Resiliency Charge’ – does not help and should not stand.”

4 comments:

  1. Wow...a sensible politician ? Say it ain't so !??!

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  2. If he is really interested in lowering electricity bills,lower the 25% tax rate the county has on the bill now. A 25% reduction would do wonders for lowering the bill.

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  3. The citizens in Germantown MD (along Clopper Rd) have suffered great losses especially in yrs of 2005-2011. I personally live in a three bedroom townhouse and have paid bills in consecutive months of upwards amounts of 850.00 and 950.00/per month. I have had financial loss especially of meats and products because of lack of electricity for weeks at a time in winter and summer months for multiple years, losses in multiple hundreds of dollars. It got so bad that I would purchase food by the week so that I would not suffer loss. We started living like we were in an "apocolypse"-- the world was coming to an end. Candles and batteries, radios and flashlights, were the decore of our household. Pepco had the nerve to put 2 months of 400+ deposits on top of my 850.00 bills, yet they did not offer to reimbuse me for MY losses. My Pepco bills were in competition with my mortgage. The question would be "What should I pay the mortgage or electricity?" I depleated my savings to keep my family warm, and with the sacrifice I still had no electricity. No one should suffer the way I and my neighbors did. It was mentally and emotionally draining. I had to leave my home and check into an Extended Stay Hotel in Gaithersburg. I was lucky to get the last room. My kids suffered through school, homework, etc. through this inconvenince. Our homes relied totally on electricity; we did not have the benefits of natural gas at all. Pepco had us all at their mercy. They are hardened to the human element and are hungry for money and profits. I believe the Dept of Energy gave Pepco a multi-million dollar grant. Until Pepco modernize and bury the lines along my corridor, they do not deserve any increase. They should return all deposits to homeowners along Clopper Road (from Quince Orchard Rd to Great Seneca Highway), as well as bury the lines. If Pepco does that, we can see that they are willing to re-invest money for the good of their customers. After all, the Maryland Public Service Commission has already generously allowed them multiple increases for years, (just for the asking). They (Pepco) are more interested in fattening their already buldging pockets than to do the right thing for communities that depend solely on them for energy.

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  4. I'm sorry for your troubling times through various power outages. However, your high bills are not the responsibility of the utility or the county. When you purchased your all electric townhome you made a choice. A choice that involves on average higher winter utility bills due to heat pump heating.

    I strongly advise you to look out for a special from an HVAC company for service of your AC/Heat pump. There is probably a problem with the unit. Also, I would suggest trying to find ways to save energy. Here are some things that may help.
    -Keep you thermostat at 68F and wear proper clothing for the season
    -Turn off lights when not in the room
    -Turn off computers, game systems etc when not in use
    -Wash full loads of dishes or laundry
    -Get a clothes line and dry outside
    -Check the insulation level and air sealing in your attic. Many homeowners can do this work or pay a low cost handyman.
    -Change your air filter monthly

    Keeping emergency lighting and other supplies is very important. You are most likely ahead of many people in the county in regards to being prepared. Being prepared is not a bad thing.

    Pepco will never reimburse customers for food loss. Some insurance companies will cover this loss, but it is most likely below your deductible. The best course of action is to self insure by having several coolers on hand, extra ice, and/or a small generator. Know where to buy ice near your home. Also, keep some non-perishable food that your family likes.

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