The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC), in a July 18 notice, said that evening hearings to receive public comment on Potomac Electric Power Company’s application for adjustments to its retail rates for the distribution of electric energy will be held on Sept. 6 in Rockville, Md., and on Sept. 8 in Largo, Md.
Written comments may be filed by Oct. 6, the PSC added.
The company is to publish, once in each of the two successive weeks prior to each hearing date, notice of the public hearing and the opportunity for public comment by a display advertisement in newspapers of general circulation in each county within the Pepco service territory, the PSC said.
The company is to also issue either a bill message or bill insert to its Maryland customers in their respective billing cycle that runs closest and prior to the hearing dates, announcing the date, time, place and purpose of the hearing, the PSC said.
As TransmissionHub reported, Pepco on April 19 filed an application with the PSC requesting an increase of about $126.8m in its Maryland distribution rates and an authorized rate of return on equity (ROE) of 10.6%, based on a test year ending on Dec. 31, 2015.
At current rates, the company’s adjusted ROE is 2.26%, which is below its authorized rate of ROE as set by the PSC. Pepco added that it is now seeking an increase in distribution rates because its revenue growth has not kept pace with the growth in operating costs and rate base, and that disparity will only increase as Pepco continues its investments to enhance the reliability of the distribution system.
The impact of the requested rate increase on the typical residential standard offer service (SOS) customer using 1,000 kWh per month would be $15.80 per month, or 53 cents per day in increased electric rates, Pepco said.
In an April 19 statement, Pepco said that even if the new rates are approved, its customers’ monthly bills are down 9% from where they were five years ago because of dropping energy prices. Also, many customers continue to take advantage of Pepco’s smart energy management programs to save on their bills, the company said.
Pepco also said that during the past two years, it invested $327m into improving reliability of the electric distribution system – and fully $890m in reliability and other programs since 2012.