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Pepco asks for $43.3M from customers

Wednesday - 12/4/2013, 3:22pm  ET

WASHINGTON - Pepco customers in Maryland could see their bills rise by a few bucks if a newly proposed rate hike is approved.

Pepco submitted the rate increase application to the Maryland Public Service commission Wednesday.

The company is asking for $43.3 million to help pay for investments it has made to improve the system between October 2012 and September 2013. It reports investing $238 million into the improvements, which it calls the Reliability Construction Project.

The improvements, including trimming trees, upgrading feeder and underground lines, have made a difference in the number of customer outages, Pepco says.

"Customers had 38.5 percent fewer outages and a 40 percent decrease in the duration of outages in Maryland," says Pepco Region President Donna Cooper.

For the average customer, using 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, it would be an extra $4.80 on their monthly bill if the PSC approves Pepco's request.

Customers in both Montgomery and Prince George's counties will be able to contribute public comment on the proposed changes. Those dates will be set by the PSC.

The utility company expects to hear whether its request was approved in July of next year.

Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner issued a statement after hearing of Pepco's request:

"In the most recent rate cases, the Commission has found that Pepco had sought recovery of expenditures that were not proper and reduced their requests by more than 50 percent. I would fully expect our County to actively participate in this proceeding, as we have in the past in accordance with legislation that I sponsored, and work to ensure that Pepco does not pass on to ratepayers costs that are not proper."

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