For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 30, 2016
Contact: Doxie A. McCoy, Public Information Officer,
Pepco Seeks Largest Rate Increase in Decades
People’s Counsel Promises Vigorous Analysis...Also Establishes Merger Monitoring Team
Washington, D.C. – In a case filed today with the Public Service Commission, Pepco requested an $85.47 million rate increase for its customers in the District of Columbia. According to People’s Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye, this is the largest rate case Pepco has ever filed during her decades-long tenure with the Office of the People’s Counsel. “OPC will be vigilant in examining this monumental filing to ensure that any rate increase is based only on the expenses necessary to keep the lights on and not those associated with Exelon’s lengthy journey to merge with Pepco,” Mattavous-Frye said.
Should the $85.47 million rate hike be approved, the average residential bill would increase by $4.36 or 5.25 percent per month. While Pepco has proposed a residential credit that would shield consumers from paying any increase in rates from this case until 2019, there is no guarantee the Commission will grant the request, particularly since the PSC categorically rejected a similar provision in its order approving the merger.
Since 2006, Pepco has been received almost $96 million in four rate cases. As the statutory advocate for District utility consumers, OPC’s role is to try to keep rate increases as low as possible, ensure reliability, inform consumers about the case, and to educate consumers about opportunities to have their voices heard by the Commission.
“It is alarming that the cost of living and housing trends in the District unfortunately have widened the gap between the haves and the have nots,” said Mattavous-Frye. “These trends demand that OPC double-down on its mission to protect District residents in every ward in every utility rate case. We must guard against decisions-makers imposing policies that are dismissive and insensitive to everyday residential consumers.”
On a separate front, OPC remains focused on ensuring all of the benefits promised in the merger materialize. To that end, OPC has established a Merger Compliance Team to monitor all 147 commitments contained in the settlement. In addition, OPC is evaluating the Commission’s order denying OPC’s request for reconsideration to determine whether to file an appeal with the D.C. Court of Appeals.