OPC Carefully Reviewing Decision to Determine What's Really in Store for Consumers
March 23, 2016
Washington, D.C. - People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye said today's DC Public Service Commission approval of the Pepco-Exelon merger appears to be a blow to District residents and the parties to the original settlement agreement.
"On first glance, I am deeply concerned that residential consumers are losing out on the guaranteed rate protections OPC has sought since this case began two years ago," said Mattavous-Frye. On March 11, OPC filed its response to the February 26 PSC revision, and the Pepco-Exelon motion, filed on March 7, stating that it cannot accept either of the alternatives because both failed to guarantee the rate relief for residential ratepayers that was included in the agreement backed by OPC, the District government and numerous other parties.
"Despite the Commission's perplexing approval of a proposal that OPC and most of the other settling parties rejected, the Office of the People's Counsel is fully prepared to continue to aggressively advocate for ratepayers and fight to ensure that rates remain affordable for consumers, particularly for our most economically vulnerable residents," Mattavous-Frye said.
"It is not 'hysteria,' as opined by Chairman Kane in the order, to protect residential customers. OPC is proud of our longstanding support of low-income discount programs, but we are mindful that there are many residential consumers whose income levels are just 'one dollar' over the existing income limits for the electric residential discount program known as Residential Aid Discount program (RAD) and are therefore not eligible for the rate protection it provides. In short, the Chairman misses the point that there are many struggling consumers who are not eligible for RAD."
OPC is carefully reviewing the Commission order and will determine next steps in the near future.