ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA) -- Seven members of the Montgomery County Council opposed Pepco's request for a rate increase on Monday.
Pepco filed the request on Friday with the Maryland Public Service Commission requesting to impose a surcharge of about $1 a month starting in 2014. The hike, if approved by the Public Service Commission, could add about $7 to the average monthly bill of residential customers. A decision is expected by July of next year.
The council issued a statement in response to the request:
"We oppose Pepco's request for a rate hike. We believe Pepco's financial fortunes should be directly tied to its performance and that performance does not justify an increase in its rate of return. As it is, shareholders have fared a lot better than ratepayers.
"We also do not believe that Pepco should be able to avoid a review of the prudence of its expenditures in return for expediting their reliability work. Rather, we believe that Pepco owes it to this community to expedite its reliability work using the traditional ratemaking process that ensures that Pepco can only recover from ratepayers costs that the Commission finds are just and reasonable. We fully expect that our County will fight this suspect, unwarranted, and unjustified request, and that the Commission will, as it has recently, protect Montgomery County ratepayers that have suffered for far too long."
The statement was endorsed by Council President Roger Berliner, Vice President Nancy Navarro and Council members Phil Andrews, Marc Elrich, Valerie Ervin, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer.
Pepco also issued a statement:
"We are investing about a billion dollars over five years in Maryland to improve our service reliability. We are asking our customers to help pay for these investments necessary to provide safe and reliable service. We make the investments to meet current reliability standards, but customers and government officials say they want us to do more. This is in response to those expectations," according to Pepco spokeswoman Myra Oppel.