SPEAK OUT: Is There an Alternative to Pepco?

Tell us what you think in the comments section.


Montgomery County residents fed up with what they see as Pepco's unreliablity will discuss options other than the long-time, investor-owned utility supplier.

This prompted a response from local officials, including Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner, who blasted Pepco for what he called an "unacceptable" performance.

In an effort to explore new options, community members and officials will look into an option called public power.

These utilities are not-for-profit electric systems owned and operated by the people they serve through a local or state government. The power is supplied by green sources, including hydroelectric, wind or solar.

A few public systems already in use are based in California, Puerto Rico and New York, serving a total of 4 million customers, according to Public Power for Montgomery County.

This public meeting is set for Wednesday, Oct. 3, inside the Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza, One Veterans Place at 7 p.m.

Participants can RSVP

What do you think about a public option for a utility supplier? What do you think about Pepco's performance?

Michael Smith September 29, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Are you serious? Why don't we address the white elephant in the room, which is that Pepco makes INCREDIBLE amounts of profit as a for profit power utility and invests VERY little into the infrastructure. Why do you people like rate increases so much when it's shown that they don't increase the quality of service? The infrastructure/power grid is too old because Pepco refuses to actually reinvest the massive profits they make back into the community! Pepco made over $200 MILLION in profits in 2011, they then raised rates to pay for "infrastructure" to the tune of another $53 MILLION. http://www.councilmemberriemer.org/2011/01/pepcos-shocking-profits.html Again, they're gouging the communities and charging insane amounts for power and you want them to charge US more so that they can "improve" the grid? If Pepco was bleeding cash and was in the red I would agree that a rate increase would be warranted, but as is they're making massive profits and reinvesting almost none of it back into the community. This is the issue, not whether it's green, dirty, eco friendly, or any other reason people want to talk about. Why is it that everyone is so afraid to talk about the real issues which is what Pepco is doing with the money we pay them? My power bills for work in other states are a fraction of what Pepco charges, yet Pepco spends LESS than any other power utility on infrastructure.
Chris A. September 29, 2012 at 12:53 PM
"INCREDIBLE amounts of profit"??, Spoken like a true 47%-er! That equates to less than 5% of revenue! Pepco is a public corporation, owned by stockholders that have a right to a return on their investment. 5% is not much! If you and every other one of the nearly 2 Million customers have a spare $2,500 to donate (I say donate, because you won't get any return on it), you can take them private, and maybe get an extra 22% improvement in capital expenditures. ".. refuses to actually reinvest the massive profits.."? In 2011 they spent over $900 Million on capital expense, and increase of $100M from the year before. This represents about 1/6th of their revenue. They are planning on continuing to invest. We need to be a little patient and let the hard working people of Pepco get their jobs done. When Mother Nature strikes we should be thankful to those that risk their lives so our TiVo's stay full and our smartphones stay charged..
Greg September 29, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Blah, Blah, Blah..... If trees are the major culprit of power outages, just put the wires underground. No doubt that it can't be done all at once, but over the next 5 years? Maybe! It's a pretty simple solution to the issue. Simple to implement? Probably not, but it is the only viable alternative to what is currently in place, which IMO is a joke.
Jeepster September 29, 2012 at 05:52 PM
MY QUESTION IS THIS: what is the Mission of PEPCO? Most large companies and government agencies have a Mission Statement posted, usually along with a Vision Statement. PEPCO doesn't have one. However, I did find this, which could probably we taken as their Mission Statement: "....to deliver safe, reliable and affordable electricity to homes and businesses throughout Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland, as well as the District of Columbia." Okay. How reliable? 80%? 90% What about as a vision or goal: 99%? Suppose the Secret Service's mission to protect VIP's was 80% or 90%? How acceptable would that be to their customer -- the people getting protection? PEPCO can find a way to improve the reliability of the electric service they deliver -- they need a single focal point of purpose ... a mission of duty that drives and compels them above all else. Often, external pressure is required to overcome inertia and force a refocus on mission. Competition is one force. Government regulations are another. Public and customer pressure is also effective. People will start installing solar panels and other self-generating power devices, and communities will create co-ops, etc. if customers are not satisfied. It may take these initiatives to make PEPCO refine their mission focus, and quantify what it means by "reliable" service. Just formulating and posting a Mission Statement on their website would be a start.
Ian Brett Cooper May 17, 2013 at 09:52 PM
I lived for 8 years with a public utility in Massachusetts. Never had a single problem. The same cannot be said after just one year with Pepco. There are Third World countries with better power utilities than Pepco.


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