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Votes

Pepco Rate Hike Opposed

— Montgomery County officials think local residents already pay enough for electricity.

The county filed its intervention against Pepco’s rate increase request last week.

“The county is taking a very aggressive position with Pepco,” according to John P. Markovs, deputy county attorney with Montgomery County.

“The county is taking a very aggressive position with Pepco.”

— John P. Markovs, deputy county attorney

Pepco filed an application with the Maryland Public Service Commission in November 2012 to increase its rates arguing that revenue growth has not kept pace with operating costs.

“Pepco’s application was filed barely four months after the commission denied the bulk of its requested $68,385,000 increase in Case 9286 (July 20, 2012),” according to Markov’s 84-page brief. “The county proposes a revenue requirement for Pepco of $6.5 million, which is a reduction of $54.3 million (or 89 percent) from Pepco’s requested $60.8 million dollar increase in rates.”

Pepco failed to offer new, meaningful and compelling arguments in this proceeding to support its new request for rate increase, said Markov.

“Pepco has failed to meet its burden of proof to support its request for a $60.8 million increase in rates. Montgomery County has concluded that a final revenue requirement of $6.5 million … is just and reasonable,” according to Markov. “Pepco’s request for a Grid Resiliency Charge should be denied because it does not result in a just and reasonable rate as required by Maryland law and it is inconsistent with prior commission decisions and long-standing ratemaking principles.”

Pepco’s reply to the county’s initial brief is scheduled to be filed by June 14.

“In order to continue to meet its obligation to provide safe and adequate service, Pepco must continuously replace and enhance the distribution system infrastructure. While this work is ongoing, more work needs to be done,” according to Pepco’s 77-page initial request last November. “Moreover, new technology is available that will enable the company to provide more reliable service in a cost-effective manner. However, in order to maintain and enhance its infrastructure and implement cost-effective distribution technologies, Pepco must continue to make substantial investments in infrastructure and must have a reasonable opportunity to recover its costs.”

Thousands of pages of exhibits and testimony have already been filed in the case.