D.C. regulators to grill Pepco executives
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
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