Sunday, October 18, 2009

PEPCO Throwdown

Here's info on a series of public meeting on proposed rate increases:

Posted by: "Cynthia" cynthiahartley[at] sinheart68 
Date: Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:32 am ((PDT))


Dear Consumers,

The D.C. Office of the People's Counsel, your ratepayer advocate, is alerting you to Public Hearings scheduled before the D.C. Public Service Commission in Formal Case No. 1076. OPC is seeking your input on PEPCO's request for a $51.7 million increase in its electric distribution rates. OPC is calling for a $10.4 million decrease in PEPCO's current rates.

OPC is challenging components of PEPCO's request for a rate increase because the Company has not provided adequate justification to support its proposed increase.

OPC believes this case raises critical issues utility consumers face now and will face in the future.
For example,

1) PEPCO seeks to shift certain business risks from Company shareholders to consumers with no guarantee that service quality will be improved.

2) PEPCO has failed to adhere to its statutory mandate to provide District consumers safe, adequate and reliable electric service.

3) PEPCO has not detailed how consumers/ratepayers will be prepared and educated for a wave of future technologies, such as smart meters and the Smart Grid, or how the costs of these new technologies will be allocated.

OPC believes it is important for consumers to understand that this rate increase request is part of a continuing march toward higher electric bills. Residential rates over a five year period have increased by 98 %. For example, in 2004, a residential consumer paid $49.00 for 750kWh per month. Today, the same consumer will pay $97.00 per month even before PEPCO's requested rates are increased. If PEPCO's request is approved in its entirety, consumers will pay an additional $6.43 each month.

These are your dollars and your service. It is imperative that you attend at least one of the community hearings and raise your issues and voice your concerns on the public record.

To participate in the hearings, you should sign up in advance by contacting the Commission Secretary at 202-626-5150 by the close of business, at least 3 days before each hearing and ask to be placed on the public witness list.

Persons with special needs are encouraged to call the Public Service Commission in advance to assist with any arrangements to facilitate your participation.

If for any reason you are unable to attend the hearings you may submit your written testimony to be included on the public record to Ms. Dorothy Wideman, Director, Office of the Commission Secretary, DC Public Service Commission, 1333 H St. NW Washington DC, 20010. You may also send your testimony by email to

The three community hearings will convene at the following locations on the dates specified below:

Chevy Chase Community Center

5601 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 12 Noon

DC Public Service Commission

1333 H Street NW

Hearing Room 7th Floor East Tower

Friday, November 20, 2009 10:00am

Hilcrest Recreation Center

3100 Denver Street, SE

Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 6:30 pm


Anonymous said...

Really convenient locations and times for working people.

soul searcher said...


that email address for submitting written testimony is non-functioning. the correct email address appears to be

(the site for the dc public service commission is

anon @ 6:20

submit your written testimony to if you cannot appear in person

Power of Babylon said...

What a wonderful scenario it would be if solar panel technology was cheap enough for individual residents to put PEPCO out of business entirely.

Public utility companies were a ent response to the corporate excesses of the 20's and 30's but it seems we're reaching a similar crescendo of sorts. I for one would be a whole-hearted advocate of something along the lines of a system where individual homeowners could legally produce their own energy and then sell the excess back to the city or other government for income or tax credits to augment the public utility grid.

Of course then we'd have people trying to make their own desalination plants and natural gas would become a black market commodity no doubt. Let the energy wars begin!

soul searcher said...

maybe i missed the posts on it, but there are two places opening on the 1300 block, side by side, roughly across from the atlas theater...joe's and vendetta's.

can only go by the descriptions in the window. going from memory, they were:

vendetta will be an italian place

and joe's was american food, with live music (focus on blues). open from lunch time till late night, 7 days a week


Anonymous said...

@ power of babylon; it is called net-metering and multiple states have net-metering laws in place. It is fairly slick, but can actually drive prices up depending upon the legal language, ie the inclusion of larger scale projects I mention below.

The pacific NW I believe really lead the charge with ID power really feeling the impact net metering, but moreso with mandatory PPA (power purchase agreements) with biofacilities. biogas and biomass facilities can be of a scale that it is difficult to intertie into the system under mandatory agreements, but in the early stages it appears to be going OK.

poo poo hates pepco said...

i got a bill from pepco last month. $4000.00


it took a week of back and forth for them to figure out that it was their error. they were "absolutely sure" they were correct.

turns out that i owe $82.00

Anonymous said...

I expect opposition will be extremely light. After all, DC residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of candidates who believe higher energy prices will reduce consumption, and support policies to achieve those higher energy prices... Newsflash people: elections have consequences.

Power to the people said...

This city hasn't really realized that elections have consequences I fear... just look at the electoral history of our esteemed District Government.

As far as higher prices equalling reduced consumption - I dare say that in this country that's been a marginal reality - if even at all.

I saw something on Fox News the other day (yes, yes - I know) where they were having people speak out about cap and trade and one of the pre-show highlights included soundbytes from the guests, one of whom was a "gas station owner" that claimed cap and trade would force him to raise his prices to $4 a gallon and that would negatively affect his "non-fuel related" sales. I thought this was telling in that his argument was not that $4 a gallon would affect his sale of the primary product, gasoline (no suprize there, considering the last few years in relation to gas prices) but in essence, people would be less likely to buy chips and soda and the like.

I'm sure there are plenty of a certain type of DC denizen that would advocate higher energy prices to "drive down consumption" to the point where the nation's capital would look like a third-world utopia of buses and bicycles - but it just isn't going to happen. Furthermore, higher costs on traditional energy sources aren't going to make alternative sources any cheaper (even if you raise the price so high as to make them "appear" less expensive).

Higher prices on traditional energy sources aren't going to elevate the use of alternative sources because they're just too damn expensive - because, it's cheaper to burn coal than invest in something that's going to end up turning less of a profit in the long run (wind, solar, hydroelectric). The key to fixing our energy problem, specifically in regard to utilities, is to remove the profit factor - i.e., "nationalizing" (or whatever level government a state sees as fit) it.

LPF said...

"The key to fixing our energy problem, specifically in regard to utilities, is to remove the profit factor - i.e., "nationalizing" (or whatever level government a state sees as fit) it."

Well, sure... because adding a couple layers of government bureaucracy always lowers costs and increases efficiency!

On the other hand, if your goal is to raise prices, and reduce output then there's no better way to do it than by putting gov't in charge...

Just think, since Chavez nationalized oil production in Venezuela, they've been able to reduce production by 50%. You can't argue with results like that!

[sarcasm off]

Pepco's profit margin through June 09 is 1.21%.

The DC utility tax is 10% (11% for businesses).

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, it was Sharon Ambrose who introduced the bill to deregulate PEPCO. I don't remember a consumer demand for it. So exactly who specifically are the "candidates who believe higher energy prices will reduce consumption" ?

Anonymous said...

Wow, no takers on this one;

Pepco's profit margin through June 09 is 1.21%.

The DC utility tax is 10% (11% for businesses)."

Pretty amazing isn't it.

Anonymous said...

But How much profit did their subsidiaries make?
PEPCO is pretty much nationalize in DC. Both parties tend to employ the same people. It's the consumer that gets ripped off for the PEPCO profit, and the taxes.

soul searcher said...

Pepco's profit margin through June 09 is 1.21%.

The DC utility tax is 10% (11% for businesses).


What point are you trying to make by pointing out these two unsourced statistics? As in, what does either allegedly correct number have to do with an argument to reduce rates? Are you saying that DC takes too much from consumers with its utility tax and if all that money went back to Pepco, they would reduce rates because they are overly generous? Doesn't your set of stats indicate that the market will bear the current bottom line prices and that the only question is whether Pepco gets all the money or whether DC gets a fraction of it? Explain...

soul searcher said...

the email doesn't work either. does anyone have a correct email for filing written testimony?

LPF said...

"What point are you trying to make by pointing out these two unsourced statistics?"

Some idiot above suggested removing the 'profit motive' and using gov't to control energy prices... I pointed out that local taxes alone are 8 times higher than the profit. If you can't see the point in pointing that out, then you really aren't worth debating with.

The fact that you don't realize that Pepco is a public company and it's balance sheet can be found on any of a hundred websites would seem to reinforce my view of your intelligence.


The fact that you can't go on DC's .gov website and find local tax rates are clinches it.


Now, since we've established that typing "Pepco profit margin" and/or "DC utility tax rates" into a search engine is beyond your abilities...Do you need me to pick your nose for you too?

oboe said...

I saw something on Fox News the other day (yes, yes - I know)...

Thanks for putting this at the top of your comment, so I could know to stop reading early.

As far as "alternative sources" being prohibitively expensive, I'm on a PEPCO plan that sources all my energy from wind/solar. It's about 15% higher than what it was when I had the standard plan. Not exactly the end of the world as we know it.

Kenny G said...

DC launching round of talks on streetcars

poo poo's finger is on the pulse said...

peeps, check out for NoMa info.

they update daily and have great info on developments in the greater hood.

soul searcher said...


All that intellectual snobbery without making a point. Do you know what the word "unsourced" means? It means you cite information without providing a source. It's not *my* job in an argument to prove your information came from a valid source, it's *your* job. Would a rational person turn in a paper without a bibliography and challenge a professor to "just find sources for my claims using Google"? LOL. I take it you have no experience in the world of academia, where citing your sources is de rigeur.

Now that we've established that you don't understand the concept of citing sources, let's move on to the part where you actually make a complete argument rather than make conclusory statements.

What a government takeover will do for pricing versus how taxation affects pricing in a free market system are two completely different issues.

Feel free to try to make a persuasive argument any day now.

oboe said...

Do you need me to pick your nose for you too?

Generally speaking, I find that when one responds to mild inquisition by turning into an rude, aggressive little shit, it calls into question the strength of one's argument.

curmudgeon said...

No kidding. I've disagreed with Soul Searcher on more than one occasion; but somehow, we were able to express our disagreement without behaving like toxic individuals.

Capitol said...

Everyone realizes when you pay a higher rate for electricity because you want your electricity to come from solar/wind, it really doesn't come from those sources directly to your light switch? All generating sources of electricity (coal, nuclear, solar, wind, etc) feed their electrons onto the grid, you can't control the electrons. Folks that want to "pay for green power" are paying an increased rate to pay for the construction costs it took the utility to build the project. If I could control electrons I would take emission free nuclear power -- but it can't technically be done.

Capitol said...

Oh, and PEPCOs service is about as proficient as the band of winged monkeys from the Wizard of Oz.

soul searcher said...

the email address is non-functional as well, sadly. i have made two attempts and both times my message bounced back :-(

cheap viagra said...

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