September 25, 2020
PSC Rejects Request to Dismiss Pepco's Application for Huge Rate Hike, A Decision OPC Predicts Will Lead to Negative Impacts for Consumers Already Struggling During Pandemic
Washington, DC - The Office of the People's Counsel reports that the Public Service Commission yesterday issued an order denying OPC's motion to dismiss Pepco's request to increase rates by $135.9 million. The denial of OPC's motion, which was supported by all the non-utility parties in this case, and numerous community advocates, signals the potential for two dismal future outcomes - one, if the Commission approves a huge rate increase, it will be based upon a constantly changing evidentiary record and two, Pepco can have just about anything it wants, both outcomes to the detriment of DC ratepayers.
"Time and again throughout this case, Pepco has expressed a callous disregard for the impact of its shocking rate increase request and the reality of the unprecedented economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumers. In reaching its decision, the Commission allows Pepco to continue its tactics and ratepayers pay the price," said People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye.
"There is more than ample basis to dismiss Pepco's rate application and require the company to re-file its case. Instead of dismissing the case, the Commission is ordering OPC and the other parties to continue to address Pepco's fundamentally-flawed proposals on a shortened timeline. If rates are increased based on this record, consumers will not only be paying much higher rates,but I fear consumers will lose confidence in this Commission's ability to be an impartial regulator," the People's Counsel said.
If one of Pepco's multiyear rate plans is approved as proposed, the average residential bill could go up by $103 in the first year of the rate plan. Despite the disappointing outcome of this decision, OPC will continue to advocate for consumers' rights to reasonable rates and for COVID-19 relief measures that are not tied to granting Pepco a huge rate increase.
Public Information Officer