Thursday, August 19, 2010

Public Hearing on Pepco Reliability, Aug. 30

I encourage our residents to write to the Public Service Commission with their experiences and to sign up to speak at the upcoming public hearing. There must be a change in the way Pepco is held accountable for its service delivery failures. We need residents to tell their stories on how these continued power outages are impacting their lives.

The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) will continue its investigation into “the reliability of Potomac Electric Power Company’s (Pepco) electric distribution system and the quality of electric distribution service that Pepco is providing its customers” by holding a public hearing at the Montgomery County Council’s Stella Werner Office Building in Rockville at 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 30.

The public hearing will be held in the third floor hearing room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. Elected officials who wish to speak should contact the PSC’s director of legislative affairs by Aug. 27. Others wishing to speak must sign in at the hearing room starting at 5:30 p.m. Speakers will be limited to a maximum of five minutes. All attending must bring photo identification to enter the hearing room.

Written comments may be filed by Aug. 31. Originally signed comments on paper may be submitted to Terry J. Romine, Executive Secretary, Maryland Public Service Commission, William Donald Schaefer Tower, 6 St. Paul Street, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202. Comments must reference “Case No. 9240—Public Comment.” To ensure comments are entered into the PSC docket system, all comments must be mailed or hand-delivered. Comments sent via e-mail or fax will not be entered into the Commission’s docket system.

The public hearing will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also can be viewed via streaming through the County Web site at


Louis Wilen for Board of Education said...

Reliability of electric power is obviously crucial, but it's only one of many duties that PEPCO has neglected.

PEPCO offers a program called "EnergyWise Rewards", and some features of that program are over a year behind schedule. For example, customers who signed up for Energywise Rewards were promised over a year ago that they would be able to remotely access the special thermostat that PEPCO installs. That feature is still not available, and PEPCO has been largely non-responsive to letters from the PSC that demand updated status information about the program.

The EnergyWise Rewards program is funded through a fee that is added to all customers' bills, so it's not like PEPCO doesn't have the money to fully implement what they promised. Meanwhile, many other electric utility companies around the USA have had the remote access feature available for several years.

James Nugent, Colesville said...

While it's clear to me that PepCo has a problem with prevention of the problems encountered during the power outages, there's a very real problem with the traffic infrastructure in the county. The loss of traffice lights, or their mis-timing has cost tens of millions of dollars in lost time and business disruption, yet this doesn't seem to get the attention it merits. The traffice in Montgomery County is bad enough without the complications thrown in by a traffice system with poor computer management (either at the personnel or equipment level, I don't know which), an infrastructure overly susceptible to the weather, and inadequate redundancy to allow appropriate switching away from areas of damage so as to minimize overall traffice disruptions.

Bottom line: What's being done to address the traffic infrastructure and it's manifest inadequacies as demonstrated in the last year?