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Posted at 1:46 PM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Don't scapegoat Pepco

By Sheldon Cheney, Keedysville, Md.

I must side with Pepco regarding power outages during the recent snowstorm. There were trees and limbs down everywhere. On Arcola Avenue in Wheaton, it seemed as if every tree had at least a limb broken off. Many whole trees were down. Pepco did not plant these trees, and Pepco can’t go in and cut them down. People love their trees and don’t want them “butchered” by having their limbs cut off. But when limbs and whole trees fall and take out power, everybody blames the power company.

When thousands of lines are down, it takes a while to fix them all — even in good weather. If you have to have uninterrupted power, buy a generator. Install solar panels and battery storage. For backup heat, install an efficient woodstove that does not require electricity to run. Or pay to have the line from the street run underground so your favorite tree won’t take out your power when something snaps.

You can’t afford that? Maybe you should not have bought the biggest, most expensive house — one you could barely manage to purchase. Nobody wants to take responsibility for his or her decisions and lack of action. It is easier to blame it all on the power company.

By Sheldon Cheney, Keedysville, Md.  | February 8, 2011; 1:46 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, Montgomery County, energy, weather  
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I have had long power outages, and I definitely don't live in a big or expensive house. I rent a modest apartment.

Posted by: DOEJN | February 8, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

What a mean-spirited, short-sighted letter writer! It's not the customers' fault that PEPCO has huge reliability problems; I've lived in Montgomery County my entire life (over 45 years) and I remember when a "snow day" meant shoveling snow and then coming back into a warm, lighted house and having the option of cooking food. Not anymore.

No, this is an entirely new set of issues. The trees have always been here; the solution is to put the power lines underground where trees can't knock them down. You know, like most other developed countries.

PEPCO needs to get its act together or transfer their business to a company that will modernize our power source.

Posted by: momosity1 | February 9, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

PEPCO charges us money so that it can trim the trees away from the wires but then doesn't spend the money anyway. Maybe they figure that eventually ALL of the trees will fall down so they can just move the unspent money to the profit side of the ledger.

Posted by: KS100H | February 11, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

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