Berliner Optimistic Pepco Customers Can Benefit From Sale

“Bottom line – I think if our State uses its leverage wisely, we can obtain significant ratepayer benefits out of this deal…and we should,” wrote Councilmember Roger Berliner in a Wednesday email to constituents.  ”The future should be brighter…literally.”

Berliner, an energy lawyer and frequent critic of Pepco’s performance, gives his full take on the potential $6.8 billion sale of Pepco to Chicago-based Exelon here.

He wants the state’s Public Service Commission to tie improvements in electric reliability performance measures to approval of the sale:

Mergers like this are increasingly common in the utility world. Bigger generally means more access to capital in the financial markets, and access to capital is needed given the substantial investments that are needed. And boy, do we know firsthand what happens when investments aren’t made.

I don’t have statistics at my fingertips in this moment regarding Exelon’s reliability, but I would say that Exelon has a decent reputation in the utility world for being forward thinking; the reliability of BG&E is certainly better than Pepco’s; and it will have the financial strength to do what needs to be done to provide us with a much higher quality of service. And much, of course, needs to be done!

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