“I was deeply disappointed,” said Floreen. “Pepco officials were unprepared for many of the commission’s questions, and it was clear the company does not have a verifiable plan for ensuring reliable service for the future.”
On August 12, the PSC ordered top officials of Pepco to appear at the August 17 hearing as part of an investigation into the reliability and quality of the electrical distribution service of Pepco. The hearing followed complaints from Maryland customers many of whom were without power for days following summer storms in July and August.
Pepco prepared a 23-page slide show for the hearing and admitted in a summary sheet that there is room for improvement, especially when it comes to communicating with customers. As for the July 25 storm, Pepco summarized: “We responded properly, we had many additional resources here quickly, and the restoration went well overall.”
Floreen said Pepco’s responses at the hearing demonstrate a need for the PSC to establish standards that will hold utilities accountable.
“I will call upon the PSC to require a reliability plan from Pepco with accountability measures that Montgomery County residents can count on in the future,” Floreen said. “I also call upon the PSC to require Pepco to prepare an emergency communications and priorities plan. It is increasingly clear that Pepco’s actions have been ad-hoc, uncoordinated and undercapitalized.”
Eight members of the Montgomery County Council attended the Baltimore hearing. Council member Mike Knapp was out of town.
An evening public hearing is scheduled for August 30 at the Montgomery County Council Office Buliding in Rockville so the PSC can hear from Pepco customers as well.
For more information about the PSC investigation and future meetings, go to the PSC’s website at www.psc.state.md.us/psc.
To read Pepco’s summary,visit www.pepco.com.