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Posted at 12:18 AM ET, 02/10/2011

D.C. regulators to grill Pepco executives

By Washington Post Editors

District regulators will grill Pepco executives Thursday during a hearing before the city’s Public Service Commission concerning the utility’s electric outages during the Jan. 26 snowstorm that left more than 200, 000 regional customers without power.

This is the latest in a string of hearings held this week by officials in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County and Annapolis.

In a statement Thursday, the D.C. commission said it plans to question Pepco executives about the service reliability as well as the utility’s tree-management practices, often cited by the company as a major factor in power outages.

During a hearing in Annapolis Tuesday, members of the Montgomery County delegations expressed skepticism about the company’s commitment to enhancing reliability and vented their frustration over the inability of constituents to get timely information about when power would be restored.

Pepco Chairman Joseph Rigby vowed to improve reliability and told lawmakers he would forgo as much as $900,000 in compensation this year.

Meanwhile, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) is working on a bill that would direct Maryland regulators to come up with reliability standards for utility companies.

At yet another hearing in Prince George’s County earlier Tuesday, Pepco President Thomas Graham told council members that the utility failed its customers on multiple levels during the Jan. 26 snowstorm. But Pepco rebuffed a proposal by the council for financial compensation — or a rate freeze — to customers without power after the winter storm.

In an interview after the hearing, Graham told The Washington Post that Pepco is not considering a moratorium and that there are no immediate plans for a rate increase.

The D.C. hearing on Thursday gets underway at 10 a.m.

--Washington Post Editors

By Washington Post Editors  | February 10, 2011; 12:18 AM ET
Categories:  DC  
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Will they be using gas or charcoal?

Gas has a steadier supply and can be turned up much higher.

Posted by: ennepe68 | February 10, 2011 12:51 AM | Report abuse

D.C. regulators to grill Pepco executives. Oh, please. DC reulators are like my dog. When I 'grill' him he rolls on his back so I can rub his tummy.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | February 10, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Believe it or not, PEPCO appears to be responding to customers complaints. My home looses electricity at least once a month. I come home and have to reset all my clocks, that's a P.I.T.A. What's funny is they even asked for the address where the trees need to be trimmed. Wow, all the money I pay to PEPCO and they need an address. The trees are so old they grow from one side of the street to the other with support from (guess what?) a power line. Trimming trees from power lines should be done on a routine basis, not after you realize you have thousands of customers w/o power.

Posted by: home_grown | February 10, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Wow, it seems Pepco now has staff to post fragrant comments on WaPo. But, I digress.

Did anyone else catch the point that Pepco Chairman Joseph Rigby...told lawmakers he would forgo as much as $900,000 in compensation this year?

How about this line for a new by-line: "We're Pepco and hire everyone too incompetent to qualify for a government position."

Posted by: williamhuxtan | February 10, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

On the same day Rigby was being Grilled by Maryland Politicians, guess what Pepco ENERGY was being rewarded with? copy and paste this link. and get a load of this:
MTA Awards #Pepco Energy $6.2 Million Energy Performance Contract -- ARLINGTON, Feb 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Pepco Energy is owned by Pepco Holdings, which Rigby is ALSO the President of the Board of Directors.

ALL of the Board members preside on PEPCO Holdings, as well as other subsidiaries, including Delmarva. Did you all know that Delmarva customers are all receiving REFUNDS for being "overcharged"? NO?? ...ok.

Posted by: CountytaxpayingCHNII | February 10, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

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