Projects help provide safe and reliable service for customers
Pepco recently filed a request with the Public Service Commission (PSC) of the District of Columbia for approval to increase rates by $66.2 million for capital expenditures in 2016 and 2017 necessary to ensure continued safe and reliable service for customers.
Based on the request, the typical Pepco D.C. residential customer using 648 kilowatt hours per month would see a monthly bill increase of 9.24 percent, or about $7.54. Pepco is not proposing any modification to the use of the $25.6 million Customer Base Rate Credit and recommends it continue to be provided to residential customers, including master-metered apartments and some small commercial customers until it expires in July 2019.
Pepco has embraced the challenge of improving its system-wide reliability performance to meet more stringent standards set by the PSC and has made the appropriate investments. Pepco spent $89.9 million in 2016 to improve the distribution system’s safety and reliability and improve customer service and plans to spend $96.4 million in 2017 on reliability projects, such as replacing and improving aging equipment and installing advanced control systems to automatically identify and isolate faults and restore service to customers.
As a result of the company’s work, since 2011, District of Columbia customers have seen 50 percent fewer outages and 63 percent shorter outages for those that do occur.
“We understand our customers’ needs for safe, reliable and affordable service, and we are working hard to meet those expectations,” said Donna Cooper, Pepco region president. “Taking best practices from other Exelon utilities enables us to operate more efficiently and stretch our dollars and resources, which in turn helps us hold down rates lower than they would be otherwise while still maintaining our system reliability.”
Even with the proposed increase, the average bill would still be 16 percent lower than it was seven years ago, thanks to lower electricity supply costs, operating efficiencies and energy efficiency programs. Customers also are seeing quicker storm restorations because of the availability of additional utility resources.
Electric system projects in 2017 have included:
- Upgrading 29 feeders
- Replacing or installing 11 miles of underground cable
- Replacing 25.4 miles of aerial cable
- Installing 65 reclosers — equipment to auto-restore power after momentary interruptions
In addition to providing better service, these infrastructure investments help drive economic development and job creation in the regional and local economies. Pepco and the Pepco Holdings service company employ more than 2,000 employees in the District and Maryland as well as hundreds of additional contract crews and services from other businesses.
“While our reliability work contributes to the economy, we know that any rate increase to recover those costs can impact our customers,” Cooper said. “We work hard to educate them on how they can manage their utility costs by using less energy and by helping them find programs and funding to help with bill payments.”
Pepco customers with questions regarding billing or the base rate adjustment request can contact our Customer Care Center at 202-833-7500. For additional information about energy efficiency and assistance programs, customers can visit the Efficiency Rebates, Incentives and Programs section of our website.