Newsletters

Home | News & Events | Publications  | Newsletters

Newsletters

The OPC CONNECTION – June, 2022

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Honoring Shared Passion and Commitment to Consumers As the advocate for DC utility consumers, OPC accomplishes its work with the support of numerous community partners, both individuals and organizations. We cannot achieve our goals without the support of lay advocates who make up the civic associations across the eight wards. On June 18, I was pleased to recognize the D.C. Federation… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – May, 2022

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Rate Hike Request at the Top of OPC’s Radar Over the last two years, District of Columbia consumers have seen sharp increases in prices for consumer goods and utility rates. These turbulent economic times have caused many residents and businesses to carefully watch and keep track of how each dollar is spent. As the utility consumer advocate, OPC does the same, carefully… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – April, 2022

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Pepco Construction Leaves Homeowners Shaken OPC Says Level Up Whether it's one complaint or 100, when consumer concerns about a utility's practices come to OPC's attention, we step up to try to find a resolution. Such is the case with homeowners in Takoma Park. In early 2021, the Office of People's Counsel received several complaints from residents along Eastern Avenue, NW, who… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – March, 2022

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Let's Make Solar Real for All Given the growing importance of solar in the District’s energy landscape, and OPC’s commitment to mitigating the impacts of climate change, it’s critical for OPC to take steps to ensure all consumers across all wards have opportunities to benefit from renewable energy programs. This includes “community solar,” under which the benefits of a solar project flow… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC Connection – February 2022

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Performing for the People Another OPC Performance Oversight Hearing is in the books. On February 23, 2022, at the DC Council Committee on Business and Economic Development, I highlighted OPC’s accomplishments and the tangible benefits we provided to District utility consumers during fiscal year 2021. I am proud of how OPC staff stepped up to ensure continuous advocacy, education, and protection… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC CONNECTION – January, 2022

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye OPC Working for You in 2022 There's a famous quote that says: "History repeats itself." Here we are in January 2022 and recalling that in this space a year ago, I wrote: "As January 2021 comes to a close, there is still uncertainty over when there will be a recovery, even as many are hopeful of better times ahead." Of course,… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – December, 2021

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Equity, Electrification, Energy OPC has long been at the forefront of initiatives that foster a clean and healthy environment. Now, as we head into 2022, unrelenting climate change necessitates a laser focus on how to quickly move the needle forward. Equally alarming and demanding attention is the impact of environmental injustice on the District’s most vulnerable communities. How can we best combat… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – November, 2021

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye OPC Advocates at City Hall to Keep Utilities Connected OPC’s purpose is to advocate, educate and protect District of Columbia utility consumers. Among its myriad responsibilities, the agency monitors, recommends, and helps to craft DC Council legislation. That role was especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic because numerous measures related to keeping essential utility services running and consumers’ ability to pay their… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – October, 2021

A Note from Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Continuing the Climate Conversation I am pleased to report that many DC residents are talking about OPC's October 16 community conversation: "The Price You Pay-Straight Talk About Climate Change & Environmental Injustice." Hundreds of virtual viewers were among a wide range of interested parties who tuned in for the lively discussion on critical climate issues affecting all of us. Special thanks to… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC Connection – August 2021

A Note from Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Re-Connecting with the Community Through the roller coaster conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, OPC has consistently and determinedly connected with utility consumers despite sometimes extraordinary circumstances. Our Consumer and Water Services Divisions have kept a steady schedule of virtual meetings over the 18 months of the public health emergency. From Advisory Neighborhood Commission meetings in all eight wards, to conversations with… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC Connection – July 2021

A Note from Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye What's Ahead for Looming Utility Service Shutoffs? July 25 was a date that many residents were focused on since it was the day when the public health emergency that had been in effect since COVID-19 hit was due to expire and start the clock ticking on the lifting of moratoriums on utility disconnections. While Mayor Muriel Bowser did end the public… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC Connection – June 2021

A Note from Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Pepco Rate Plan Decision: Finding A Silver Lining in A Dark Cloud Two years ago, Pepco filed an application with the Public Service Commission seeking a huge $162 million rate increase and a multiyear rate plan (MRP) that would significantly change the way electric distribution rates are set. While OPC was open to considering the adoption of an alternative form of ratemaking… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC Connection – May 2021

A Note from Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Stronger Together by Assisting You The mandate of the Office of the People’s Counsel includes conducting consumer education to make sure District residents are aware of resources that will enable them to thrive. That is especially critical during these difficult times when consumers are behind in paying utility and other bills. So, I join Mayor Muriel Bowser and other city leaders in… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC Connection – April 2021

A Note from Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye OPC is Fighting for Affordable Climate Change Solutions On April 22, “Restore Our Earth” was on our minds as the world focused on that theme of Earth Day 2021. On the first Earth Day in 1970, the focus was on threats to the environment and human health by polluting cars, power plants and factories. OPC was an early advocate supporting energy efficiency,… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC Connection – March 2021

A Note from Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye A Season for Overcoming Challenges Tis the season for spring cleaning and blossoms blooming, but also the time for testifying…when District agencies come before DC Council oversight committees to report on their work during the previous fiscal year. On March 3, 2021 at the Committee on Business and Economic Development, I highlighted OPC’s accomplishments during fiscal year 2020, despite these challenging times.… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC Connection – February 2021

A Note from Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Focusing on Energy Affordability The COVID-19 pandemic has been at the center of our attention for 12 months now. While falling coronavirus cases and vaccine distributions offer hope of better times ahead, there will be lingering uncomfortable truths to tackle. Health care disparities, the inequitable burden of energy costs, and the digital divide that all fall along racial and income lines, have… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC Connection – January 2021

A Note from Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Empowering People through the Pandemic In this space in the January 2020 OPC Connection, I covered the status of proposals by Pepco and Washington Gas to significantly raise their rates. I won’t rehash the details of the rate increase cases, which still have not come to a close, because they’ve been the subject of numerous OPC Connection updates. I assure you, however,… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC Connection – December 2020

A Note from Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Serving Successfully through the Storm As the closing days of 2020 are upon us, no one can deny that this was a year like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted not just the health, safety, and livelihood of DC residents but also the way we serve utility consumers. I am proud of how OPC staff adapted during the difficult times. When the… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC CONNECTION – November 2020

A Note from Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Not Business As Usual What role should the District’s utilities play in the transition to a clean and green energy system? Proceedings before the Public Service Commission are delving into that question. For example, one commitment of the merger of AltaGas and Washington Gas Light Company in 2018, requires AltaGas to develop “a long-term business plan on how it can evolve its… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – October 2020

A Note from Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye This is Not the Time This past week at a Public Service Commission evidentiary hearing, OPC attorneys appeared on behalf of Pepco ratepayers to continue to make the case that the Commission should reject the utility’s application for an excessive rate increase and deny Pepco’s request to implement a multiyear rate plan. Pepco filed its initial application in May 2019 and over… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – September 2020

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Rating the Rate Cases OPC’s eyes have been laser-focused on Pepco’s application to increase electric rates by $135.9 million since Pepco filed its initial application in May 2019. And as with every rate case that will affect your utility bills, we’ve encouraged you to be a part of the process. According to the Public Service Commission, 106 people have signed up to… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – August 2020

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye It’s Complicated…That’s Why OPC is Your Utility Lawyer Over my 30-plus years at OPC, I've witnessed numerous changes in the utility industry. The issues have changed and technologies have changed. Nonetheless, OPC's aggressive advocacy for DC consumers has not changed, even during these devastating times of COVID-19. And another thing that has not changed is my guiding principle that consumers must have… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – July 2020

A Note from Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye The Time is Now The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into painfully sharp focus the importance of having utility service. Without utilities, we cannot comply with the safety precautions necessary to prevent contracting and spreading the coronavirus such as frequently washing hands. Whenever the public health emergency declaration is lifted and life starts to get back to the new normal, we know the… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – June 2020

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye #Here2HelpDC During these unprecedented times, making consumers aware of resources to help them stay on top of utility bills is paramount. Therefore, OPC welcomed the June 18 launch of “#Here2HelpDC,” a multiagency public awareness campaign to inform residents and businesses about energy and money-saving initiatives that will help minimize the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our campaign partners are the DC… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – May 2020

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Worth Repeating You might be familiar with the quote: "Repetition is the mother of skill." The writer makes the point that by constantly doing a task, function or exercise over and over again, the ability to master that skill or behavior becomes self-regulating. What does that have to do with your utilities? Well, ever since we began staying at home in the… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – April 2020

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye What a Difference a Year…or 50 Years...Make Fifty years ago on April 22, the world stood up in defense of the environment and Earth Day was born. Earth Day 1970 was the launching pad for a citizen movement that produced new environmental laws and public investments to reduce air pollution, protect nature and clean our water. Today, as climate change threatens the… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – March 2020

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye OPC Remote but Ready As our city and its residents face unprecedented challenges with the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the Office of the People’s Counsel continues to aggressively advocate for District utility consumers even with the limitations of remote operations. Over the past three weeks, my staff have handled dozens of consumer complaints and concerns, with particular focus on disconnections and restorations. With… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – February 2020

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Don’t Miss the Money! You may be aware that the Office of the People’s Counsel has been advocating for DC Water consumers since April of 2019 when a new law authorized OPC to directly address water ratepayers’ concerns. Our outreach also includes educating consumers about programs that provide funding relief for increasing water and sewer rates. We want to make sure financial… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – January 2020

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye It’s Complicated… ​​But Let us Break it all Down As OPC begins a New Year of advocating, educating and protecting DC utility consumers, we are digging deep into two proposals filed by Pepco and Washington Gas Light (WGL) to raise your utility rates. And we believe it’s important to keep consumers abreast of the latest developments and steps we’ll be taking to… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – December 2019

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye It’s Electric! ​​Sliding into 2020 with EVs As we edge closer to the end of 2019, I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to thank the many consumers and lay advocates who have contributed to OPC’s accomplishments over the past year. We simply could not represent ratepayers as we do without your input. Now, in the closing days… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – November 2019

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby! As the advocate for utility consumers in the District of Columbia, the Office of the People’s Counsel is mandated to monitor, investigate and put all efforts into ensuring that all utilities deliver reliable services in all eight wards of the city. Such is the case with the July 27, 2019 Pepco power outage at its Florida… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – October 2019

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Take Command! In developing Take Command, OPC looked at some of the best educational brochures of consumer advocates around the country before choosing this design, which unfolds into a colorful poster. We expect individuals and organizations will want to save the handout and repeatedly refer to it when addressing a wide range of utility matters. Inside, you will find tips for addressing… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – September 2019

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Connecting the Dots On September 24, the Office of the People’s Counsel welcomed representatives of numerous District government agencies, DC Council offices, nonprofits, and academic and faith-based institutions to the 10th Annual Social Services Summit. The setting was the historic Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives. The building was one of the first public elementary schools educating African American children in Washington,… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC Connection – August 2019

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Recommended Reading What’s on your relaxing-on-the-beach reading list? It might not be as juicy as the romance novel, or the suspenseful murder mystery you just cannot put down. Nonetheless, I encourage you to check out “Meeting the Needs of Tomorrow’s Utility Consumer Today," the Office of the People’s Counsel 2018 Annual Report. The Report runs down how OPC has delivered on the… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC Connection – July 2019

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye No One Size Fits All On July 22nd I accepted an invitation to address the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) to speak on “Using Advanced Technology to Close the Energy Access and Affordability Gap for Low-and-Moderate Income Utility Consumers.” Trends such as the movement toward clean and renewable energy, and the efforts of many utilities to radically change the regulatory… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC Connection – June 2019

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye The Office of the People’s Counsel has long-been supportive of thoughtful efforts to improve the reliability and resiliency of the energy delivery system in the District of Columbia. At the same time, OPC has played an integral role in shaping the city’s clean energy policies. Thus, OPC enthusiastically participated in the Public Service Commission’s MEDSIS initiative. Launched in 2015, MEDSIS stands for… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC Connection – May 2019

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye I am excited to announce the completion of the “OPC Energy Affordability Lab.” In 2018, we set out to create a new tool to engage and educate District consumers on energy efficiency right inside our offices, located at 1133 15th Street NW. That tool is now a reality in the form of a model of a small onebedroom home. Ensuring that all… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC Connection – April 2019

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Sailing Forward with Water On April 11, 2019, the DC Water Consumer Protection Amendment Act became law, giving OPC the green light to advocate on behalf of DC Water consumers. It's what we have done effectively for Pepco, Washington Gas and local Verizon customers for decades. We are excited to now add DC Water under OPC's umbrella. Here's our new water informational… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC Connection – March 2019

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Coming to a Neighborhood Near You I am excited to announce that the Office of the People’s Counsel is kicking off a series of “Utility Town Halls,” this Tuesday, March 26, to hear from residents on their utility needs, to update you on OPC’s work on behalf of utility consumers and to discuss current trends in the District’s utility market. The first… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC Connection – February 2019

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Unwavering Advocacy Amid Seismic Change This is the time when District agencies come before DC Council oversight committees to report on their activities during the previous fiscal year. On February 26, at the Committee on Business and Economic Development, I highlighted OPC’s unprecedented accomplishments, our support for the city’s climate change goals and our new initiatives. We appreciate the comments by public… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC Connection – January 2019

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye OPC Still Working for Federal Workers Like most people in the Washington area, OPC is relieved that the federal government shutdown is over. From the beginning, OPC was ready and able to assist furloughed employees and contractors who live in the District. Staff fielded numerous inquiries, negotiated payment plans with utilities for consumers and made referrals for financial aid. For example, OPC… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC CONNECTION – December 2018

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Balancing Clean Energy, Sustainability and Affordability to Protect DC Consumers On December 18th, the DC Council gave final approval to the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Bill, landmark legislation that requires the city to address climate change by accelerating the District’s transition to a more renewable power supply. The legislation is expected to become law after a 30-day congressional review period. The Office… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – November2018

A Note from ​​Your People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye Reading is Fundamental OPC uses numerous tools to let consumers know how we carry out our mission to advocate, educate and protect…including publications. You can find a variety of informative publications, including annual reports, brochures, and of course, the OPC Connection, at opc-dc.gov. Copies are always available at the countless community events we attend. You also can request copies by contacting our… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – October 2018

A Note from Your People's Counsel SMART GRID: Requires Smart Consumer Engagement Earlier this month OPC presented to the annual Smart Grid Consumer Education Symposium, this year hosted in Houston, Texas. The invitation to share with a national audience our “lessons learned” is an honor, recognizing the level of advocacy we strive constantly to provide District ratepayers. OPC’s presentation focused primarily on the consumer engagement aspects of developing a plan… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – September 2018

A Note from Your People's Counsel Yes, UCAN! Yes, UCAN! Yes, UCAN! That’s the chant that followed the introduction of the DC Utility Consumer Advocacy Network or UCAN on September 19, 2018. I am pleased to welcome the members of UCAN as a new body to help OPC serve DC utility consumers. UCAN is made of District residents and stakeholders representing a broad spectrum of neighborhoods, industries, and interests. As… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – August 2018

A Note from Your People's Counsel This year has been remarkably empowering for women across the country. Recently, I served on a panel entitled, “The Year of the Woman,” with fellow women leaders in the energy sector. Subsequently, I was excited to grace the cover of Public Utilities Fortnightly Magazine with powerful female consumer advocates. The setting was the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) Mid-Year Meeting in… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – July 2018

A Note from Your People's Counsel On July 12th, I testified before the DC Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment on a proposed bill that would give OPC the authority to advocate on behalf of DC Water customers. The Council is considering the “DC Water Consumer Protection Amendment Act of 2018” in an effort to allay consumers’ concerns about high water bills, aging meters and insufficient customer service. The… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – June 2018

A Note from Your People's Counsel As the summer season is here, you will notice increased sightings of OPC outreach staff members in your communities. Visiting civic associations, advisory neighborhood commissions and various community meetings is something that OPC is happy to do year-round. However, we particularly take advantage of the warm weather to step up our appearances at outdoor events like farmer’s markets, community fairs and park celebrations. “OPC… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – May 2018

A Note from Your People's Counsel People’s Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye talks with participants of OPC’s Fireside Chat with solar providers. Lack of trust…Unfamiliarity... Assumptions that it’s a difficult contracting process-Those are some of the concerns that consumers in underserved DC communities have expressed that get in the way of them considering solar power as an energy option. Solar providers and advocates cited the concerns at a “Fireside Chat” OPC hosted… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – April 2018

A Note from Your People's Counsel Solar power and other distributed energy resources are playing an increasingly important role in electricity systems across the United States and the District is no exception. That’s why I am pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has selected the Office of the People’s Counsel to participate in the Solar Energy Innovation Network. It’s a multi state initiative… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – March 2018

A Note from Your People's Counsel Solar power and other distributed energy resources are playing an increasingly important role in electricity systems across the United States and the District is no exception. That’s why I am pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has selected the Office of the People’s Counsel to participate in the Solar Energy Innovation Network. It’s a multi state initiative… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – February 2018

A Note from Your People's Counsel Almost a year ago, OPC released the first “Value of Solar Study” on the potential for wide deployment of solar energy in the District of Columbia. We also unveiled a companion report on solar for low-income residents. Our findings were positive and confirmed that the potential of rooftop solar can substantially meet the electricity needs of DC consumers at a cost-effective and affordable rate… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – January 2018

A Note from Your People's Counsel Welcome back and Happy New Year to you, our loyal OPC Connection readers! The year 2018 is still quite young, but at the Office of the People’s Counsel we are already off to a brisk start. I am pleased to announce that OPC has entered into a new partnership with the DC Public Schools to present energy safety and energy efficiency education to students… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – December 2017

A Note from Your People's Counsel OPC Representing District Consumers in Important National Policy Discussions The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)– the agency that regulates the wholesale market where utilities like Pepco purchase electricity – is considering a proposal that would dramatically change how these markets operate and result in higher rates for consumers. In the fall, Secretary Rick Perry of the US Department of Energy asked FERC to develop… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – November 2017

A Note from Your People's Counsel In case you missed it, OPC recently released its annual report linked here, and the theme of the report is “Community Engagement – A Pipeline to Power.” The phrase is in line with my assurance that consumers will always have a place at the table in proceedings affecting their utility rates and service. The proposed WGL Holdings-AltaGas merger is no exception. OPC has hosted… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – October 2017

A Note from Your People's Counsel What’s PJM? No, it doesn’t stand for peanut butter, jelly and mayonnaise. Nor are they the initials for new designer pajamas. PJM stands for Pennsylvania- Jersey-Maryland Interconnection, founded in 1927 initially to serve electric utilities in the three states. PJM is an independent regional transmission operator that is not under the jurisdiction of the DC Public Service Commission. Why do we—and why should you—care… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – September 2017

A Note from Your People's Counsel October first begins the start of fiscal year 2018. The date also marks the opening of the period when DC residents can apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP. The federally-funded program helps eligible consumers pay energy bills and locally is administered by the DC Department of Energy & Environment. DOEE is now taking applications from residents who are currently… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – August 2017

A Note from Your People's Counsel District students are back in school as families have wrapped up vacations and trips to see grandma. OPC was in the classroom over the summer and was happy to be joined by some enthusiastic youngsters across the city. I closed out a series of workshops OPC conducted at summer camps at DC Department of Parks and Recreation centers with a visit to the Upshur… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – July 2017

A Note from Your People's Counsel In our mission to advocate for DC utility consumers, OPC is pleased to partner with members of the Council of the District of Columbia on efforts to protect vulnerable communities. For example, OPC provided technical assistance to Ward 4 Council member Brandon Todd in drafting language for the Community Residential Facilities Third-Party Notice of Utility Disconnection Requirement Act. Council member Todd introduced the legislation… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – June 2017

A Note from Your People's Counsel This is the time when the crystal balls come out to predict upcoming weather for the summer season. No matter what is forecast, it’s always a good idea tofollow the Boy Scout Motto:“Be Prepared!” OPC’s mission to advocate,educate and protect consumers includes helping you get ready for possible extreme weather.Year round, we provide workshops to help consumers be preparedfor whatever the elements bring. We… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – May 2017

A Note from Your People's Counsel “OPC is Your Utility Lawyer” is a phrase that describes the important role the Office of the People’s Counsel performs. OPC’s Litigation Services Division puts the words into practice daily primarily in advocating for consumers before the DC Public Service Commission, but also on occasion in court. For example, on May 2nd, OPC presented arguments at the DC Court of Appeals to challenge the… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – April 2017

A Note from Your People's Counsel You may have heard that Pepco is requesting a $76.8 million rate increase--the electric utility's largest in at least 30 years. You might also know, but it's worth repeating, that the Office of the People's Counsel is on the record as opposing the rate hike because of the possible harm to District consumers. In March, OPC attorneys mounted a vigorous defense for ratepayers, arguing… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – March 2017

A Note from Your People's Counsel If you follow the proceedings of the Council of the District of Columbia, you may know that Council committees have been holding performance oversight hearings to delve into how agencies are carrying out their mission and serving District residents. As an independent agency of the DC government, the Office of the People's Counsel comes before the Committee on Business and Economic Development, chaired by… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC Connection – February 2017

A Note from Your People's Counsel "Oh no, not again!" That was the headline on an article in the Washington Business Journal after WGL Holdings, the parent company of Washington Gas, announced on January 25, 2017, a plan to merge with AltaGas. OPC's approach to the anticipated announcement, however, was not to be aghast. Instead, we moved expeditiously to shore up the tools necessary to assess what might be in… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC Connection – January 2017

A Note from Your People's Counsel I am happy to report that with your help, OPC met the challenges of 2016 and delivered measurable consumer benefits. I'm pleased to launch another year of advocating, educating and protecting DC utility consumers. In 2017, OPC will continue to aggressively advocate for safe, reliable and affordable utility services for District residents in all eight wards. We stand ready and able to assist consumers… read more about The OPC Connection –

The OPC CONNECTION – December, 2016

A Note from Your People's Counsel With the 2016 elections in the history books, all roads now lead to beginning and continuing OPC partnerships with District officials who share the commitment to advocate, educate and protect DC utility consumers. I look forward to collaborating with newly elected and returning Councilmembers and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners on programs and initiatives that benefit District residents in all eight wards. I was pleased with… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – November, 2016

A Note from Your People's Counsel Ensuring that consumers have a place at the table in utility proceedings has been a key principle of my administration. The Office of the People's Counsel could not accomplish that mandate without the help of lay advocates. So it was my great honor to give the OPC Consumer Advocate of the Year Award to Ward 8 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Theresa Howe Jones at the… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – October, 2016

A Note from Your People's Counsel There has been immeasurable excitement about the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture since it opened on the National Mall on September 24. More than 30,000 people visited the museum during opening weekend, according to reports. No doubt, many Americans subscribe to the notion, "I think knowing one's history leads one to act in a more enlightened fashion," as stated by… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – September, 2016

A Note from Your People's Counsel OPC is working daily to improve the quality of life of District of Columbia residents. A good way to see how our energy efficiency, community outreach and legal staff are advocating, educating and protecting utility consumers is to check out "Preparing Today for a Brighter Utility Tomorrow," OPC's 2015 Annual Report on the link below. It's a comprehensive look at how the Office of… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – August, 2016

A Note from Your People's Counsel PDF available for Download We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. That's a quote from Great Speeches by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. At OPC, we are working with youth to build a better utility future for them. I am pleased to announce that OPC has launched energy efficiency workshops for 3rd, 4th and… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – July 2016

July, 2016 A Note from Your People's Counsel Pepco has just requested an $85.4 million rate increase for its DC customers in its largest rate case in decades. If the Public Service Commission approves the hike, ratepayers could see their electric bills go up by $4.36 per month. No effective date has been set. Nonetheless, OPC will be vigilant in examining this monumental filing to ensure that any rate increase… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – June 2016

June, 2016 A Note from Your People's Counsel "Rain, Rain, Go Away." That's what many people are saying after weeks of continuous rain over the Washington region. Meteorologists report that May had a record number of rainy days-19 as of May 23-along with the coolest high temperatures since 1882. At a time when there is growing interest in solar energy, you might be wondering: do solar panels work on rainy… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –

The OPC CONNECTION – April 2016

A Note from Your People's Counsel PDF available for Download Around this time every year, I am called to testify at a performance oversight hearing before the D.C. Council Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. I welcome the opportunity to talk about the trends occurring in the utility industry, the challenges utility consumers have faced during the last fiscal year, and how the Office of the People's Counsel has… read more about The OPC CONNECTION –