Powerupmontco Urges Action
Power Up Montgomery County urges resident action on Pepco’s recent rate increase request. Take a look at their latest email to supporters.
Dear Powerupmontco Supporters:
Thank you all for your continued emails and support. Over the past few weeks there have been several notable events. After emailing Powerupmontco’s letter denouncing Pepco’s latest rate hike application with the Maryland Public Service Commission for an additional $60.8 million from its ratepayers, Powerupmontco sent a letter to Governor Martin O’Malley requesting that we be granted to the right to intervene in this rate case.
On December 12, 2012 then-Chairman Douglas Nazarian responded on behalf of the Governor to me personally. In his letter, Chairman Nazarian stated that the Governor received Powerupmontco’s letter and asked the Chairman to respond on his behalf. The letter confirmed Pepco’s rate hike request application but stated that, “rates cannot increase unless the Commission allows it, and that will only happen, if after a thorough review, we find that an increase is required in order for rates to be just and reasonable.” The letter from Chairman Nazarian (which I have included in an attachment to this email) went on to describe the prehearing conference details and the fact that Powerupmontco’s earlier letter would be filed in the Correspondence File for Case No. 9311.
Following this letter Powerupmontco determined it was in our best interests to file a Petition to Intervene in Rate Case No. 9311 on December 28, 2012. With the help of Powerupmontco supporters Claire Morisset, Esq, and Robert Loube, Ph.D., Powerupmontco attended the Maryland Public Service Commission’s prehearing conference in Baltimore, Maryland on January 4, 2013. Recently appointed Commission Chairman Kevin Hughes of North Potomac presided. He was joined by Commissioners Lawrence Brenner and Kelley Speakes-Backman. The Commission granted Powerupmontco’s Petition to Intervene with virtually no objection from Pepco or any other party.
One very important matter from the procedural schedule to note is that the Commission set two public evening hearings. One will occur in Rockville, Maryland. It will most likely be at the County Council Office building. Once I receive more information about the hearing I will forward it to all Powerupmontco subscribers. It is critical we get as many ratepayers out to testify at this hearing as possible. Our efforts this past August were clearly heard by Chairman Nazarian and the Commission. We need to continue our efforts with Chairman Hughes and push for change in Montgomery County.
Following the hearing, Powerupmontco was interviewed by WTOP’s Kate Ryan. WTOP will continue to cover this rate case over the next several months. Following the hearing Powerupmontco gave interviews with The Gazette and MyMCMedia.org. We were advised that news coverage outlets determine which stories they will cover by the number of “hits” the story gets on their website. In other words, if you go online and see a story about Montgomery County and our power issues, please click on it with your mouse. The number of “hits” an online story receives is the determining factor as to whether a news outlet will cover a story. The more “hits” a news story receives online, the more resources the news outlet will direct toward the story.
Another way to have a positive impact on this particular rate case and to promote Powerupmontco’s goals of consistent and reliable power in Montgomery County, is to contact your State Legislative Representatives in both the Senate and the House of Delegates and have them write to the Public Service Commission. As of this writing, only two representatives, Senator Brian Frosh and Delegate Susan Lee from District 16 have written letters to the Public Service Commission urging the Commission to deny Pepco’s latest rate increase request. Copies of those letters are attached to this email.
On Sunday, December 16, 2012 Delegate Al Carr hosted a walk through the town of Kensington. During this walk, members of the Kensington community observed the dilapidated condition of major electric feeder lines which contributed to a massive explosion of a Pepco substation during a major snow storm a few years back. The deplorable condition of the poles, many of which are at least 50 years old and riddled with holes, and the rusted Pepco utility lines and transformers sitting atop these poles are an abomination.
Many ratepayers have contacted Powerupmontco in an effort to address problems associated with Pepco’s recent installation of smart meters. Although Powerupmontco takes no position on smart meter installation, it is important to know that as Pepco ratepayers, we have the right to deny installation on our homes. If you choose to have a smart meter installed, please watch your bills closely. There should not be any significant rate change.
Thank you again for your interest and support.
Attachments to email:
Nazarian Response to Power Up Montgomery
Visit Maryland State Archives to find your state elected officials.