Pepco seeks rate increases for Md. customers

WASHINGTON – Pepco is seeking another rate increase just months after Maryland regulators approved another increase to customers’ bills.

Pepco is asking the Maryland Public Service Commission for a rate adjustment of $60.8 million.

If the PSC approves the full amount, the typical customer would pay an extra $7.13 a month. Pepco is also seeking a three-year “grid resiliency surcharge,” which would add another $0.96 to bills per month in the first year with small increases to follow, according to Pepco.

The rate increase is to cover part of what’s needed to improve the utility’s infrastructure and to implement “cost-effective distribution technologies” and provide a reasonable rate of return for investors. The surcharge would cover tree trimming and to begin bringing overhead distribution feeders underground, according to Friday’s filing with the PSC.

“We’ve been working for more than two years now to upgrade and modernize our system, and the work is benefiting our customers,” said Tom Graham, Pepco’s region president, in a statement. “Customers are experiencing fewer outages, and the outages that do occur have shorter durations.”

The last time Pepco went to the Maryland PSC for a rate increase, regulators approved $18 million — just a fraction of of the $68 million the company asked for.

But Graham says this is not an appeal of that decision.

A decision from the PSC on the new request isn’t expected until next summer.

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow her at @KateRyanWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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