The Potomac Energy and Power Company (PEPCO, which is now owned by Exelon) is the only electric power distributor serving District 16, and their unreliable service has become an inconvenience, a hazard to public health, an obstacle to businesses, and a negative influence on our quality of life. PEPCO reliability performance ranks in the second bottom quartile in the nation as a direct result of their lack of adequate investment in necessary maintenance and upgrades to their utility distribution infrastructure. PEPCO is required by Maryland law to provide reliable, stable electrical power to our community by virtue of the monopoly granted to PEPCO by the State. Power distribution by PEPCO is a public service and PEPCO must be held accountable to a high standard of reliability.
Legislative Action Items:
- Support efforts to provide greater funding to the Public Service Commission of Maryland (PSC) for the purpose of hiring additional professional staff of the highest caliber to ensure that the PSC is better-enabled to handle PEPCO's frequent rate requests.
- Introduce guidelines for the Senate confirmation process of gubernatorial appointees to the PSC that convey the imperative that all Commissioners be properly qualified to advocate for consumers' interests and that the appointees understand that their primary role as a Commissioner is to regulate various entities, thereby ensuring a fair and reliable utility source for consumers.
- Oppose "trackers" that would prospectively reward PEPCO for providing quality, reliable electricity service without reserving the necessary opportunities for the PSC to hold PEPCO accountable for the quality of service they provide or permitting the PSC to ensure that PEPCO makes adequate investments in their utility infrastructure, which they claim to make, but have neglected to make, for the past decade.
- Introduce across the board, universal state standards that would apply equally to ALL electric utility distribution entities in Maryland. Universal reliability performance standards must stipulate minimum thresholds of acceptable SAIFI (frequency) and SAIDI (duration) measures.
- Increase energy generation portfolio requirements for renewable energy quotas required under state law so as to guarantee reliable market demand for renewable energy sources.
- Increase incentives for private sector investment in renewable energy including offshore wind, solar, and biomass power-generation.