Pepco Exelon merger one step closer to reality

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It looks like Exelon is one step closer in its bid to merge with Pepco and take over the DC energy market. This has been a topic that has been frustrating many local residents opposed to the merger, and who were hoping that the DC Regulator's rejection from August 25th was going to stay permanent. Multiple ANCs have offered their opposition to the plans, yet it looks like the Office of the People's Counsel (OPC) have come to a settlement agreement regarding the merger.

OPC and Exelon have worked out small increases in monetary benefits for DC residents in a new settlement agreement. Next step is for this to go to the Public Service Commission for review.

  • $55.75 Million in the area of affordability benefits,
  • No increases on residential customer bills through 2019
  • An immediate residential bill credit of $14 Million (about $57 per customer account)
  • $6.75 Million for home weatherization programs
  • $9 Million to support the bills of low income utility consumers through LIHEAP
  • $5.2 million dollars in economic impact benefits to the District:
  • New and Sustained Local Jobs
  • Workforce Training
  • $17 Million in sustainable energy benefits including:
  • Exelon will commit $3.5 Million to the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund
  • $3.5 Million to a District run renewable energy development fund
  • $10 million dollars to the "Green Building Fund" to expand the development of green energy, clean water and other technologies.

"Whichever course the PSC decides to undertake must create a process that is transparent, allows for formal review by all interested parties, and permits public input and comment. Finally, the Public Service Commission must make a determination whether the new proposal is in the public interest" said the People's Counsel.  

OPC's press release is below:

OPC Supports Exelon/Pepco Settlement Agreement District to Receive $72.8 Million In Benefits  
 
October 6, 2015

Today People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye outlined her support of the newly revised settlement proposal submitted by Exelon and Pepco in the ongoing merger case. "The agreement filed today with the Public Service Commission achieves across the board, measurable benefits and consumer protections I sought from the beginning of the merger application case," stated the People's Counsel.      

Ms. Mattavous-Frye stated, "The rigorous advocacy of the Office of the People's Counsel, public participation, and the Commission's ultimate rejection of the previously filed application caused Exelon to significantly revise the terms of its application. This agreement results in major concessions by the applicants important to the District of Columbia government's goals as articulated by Mayor Muriel Bowser, consumers, and OPC, such as immediate rate relief, firm and trackable reliability commitments, low-income consumer protections and local jobs. Taken as a whole, this agreement is by far a better deal for District ratepayers than anything previously proposed. The bottom line is that this deal will translate into real benefits for everyday consumers, particularly those in underserved communities. Importantly, the proposal also promotes major renewable and sustainable energy policies and significantly improves on what we asked for and what Exelon previously proposed to provide."

The proposal offers, at no cost to DC ratepayers:
$55.75 Million in the area of affordability benefits,
No increases on residential customer bills through 2019
An immediate residential bill credit of $14 Million (about $57 per customer account)
$6.75 Million for home weatherization programs
$9 Million to support the bills of low income utility consumers through LIHEAP
$5.2 million dollars in economic impact benefits to the District:
New and Sustained Local Jobs
Workforce Training
$17 Million in sustainable energy benefits including:
Exelon will commit $3.5 Million to the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund
$3.5 Million to a District run renewable energy development fund
$10 million dollars to the "Green Building Fund" to expand the development of green energy, clean water and other technologies.
In the area of reliability DC Residential consumers receive tangible benefits through commitments to develop 4 microgrids in the District that will allow the development of on-site generation, improvements including shortening the waiting period for solar customers seeking to interconnect to Pepco's grid, and Exelon and Pepco are committing to support new technology modernization to improve the District's energy delivery.

The next steps will be a Commission determination regarding whether it will accept the settlement agreement proposal or require Exelon and Pepco to file a new application. The Commission will then establish procedures for formal review. "Whichever course the PSC decides to undertake must create a process that is transparent, allows for formal review by all interested parties, and permits public input and comment. Finally, the Public Service Commission must make a determination whether the new proposal is in the public interest" said the People's Counsel.  

The Office of the People's Counsel is the public advocate for natural gas, electric and telecommunications ratepayers in the District of Columbia.
_________________________________
1133 15th Street, NW, Suite 500 | Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202.727.3071 | Fax: 202.727.1014 | TTY/TDD: 202.727.2876
Website: www.opc-dc.gov | Email: ccceo@opc-dc.gov

Photo courtesy wikipedia

Drew Schneider

Local DC blogger in Petworth, Washington DC.



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