DC residents weigh in on proposed electricity rate increase

Washington-DC

The Office of the People’s Council reports residents’ bills would increase by at least $96 per year.

Courtesy: Pepco

WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The Potomac Electric Power Company, or Pepco, may increase its electricity rates in the District this spring. 

In May 2019, Pepco requested a $162 million rate increase. Following the pandemic, the company instead proposed a $135.9 million increase “for the years 2020 to 2022.” The Office of the People’s Council reports residents’ bills would increase by at least $96 per year. Pepco estimates customers would pay an additional $4.36 a month. 

Pepco says the increase would pay for upgrades that “reduce the number and length of power outages.” A spokesperson said the DC Public Service Commission “will have full authority to determine just and reasonable rates, and the proposal preserves all existing consumer protections, as well as assistance programs for low-income customers.” A Pepco statement says it has proposed “extended payment arrangements, financial support for small businesses, nonprofits, and houses of worship.”

Over 100 people signed up to testify at the commission’s virtual hearing on Tuesday. Many were against the proposal for two reasons: the extra strain it would put on customers facing pandemic-related economic challenges, and the environmental effects.

Washington, D.C. is pushing to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2032 — one of the most ambitious targets in the country.

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