AARP Maryland filed an appeal today in Baltimore City Circuit Court over the Public Service Commission’s authorization of a surcharge imposed on Pepco electricity customers.
This surcharge requires customers to pay in advance for infrastructure work that is above and beyond what customers already pay in their monthly rates—which already includes infrastructure maintenance and repair.
“This move by the PSC overturns over a century of precedent,” said AARP Maryland State Director Hank Greenberg. “As recently as one year ago, the PSC found that adding such surcharges to customer’s bills unwarranted and unwise. What has changed?”
A surcharge is subject to less oversight and scrutiny by regulators, and reduces the utility’s incentive to control costs.
The floodgates of surcharge requests have opened, according to Greenberg and AARP. “Just last week, two other utility companies announced that they will now ask for an additional monthly surcharge to be imposed against their customers, including companies that are reaping exorbitant profits. Consumers are bearing the financial brunt without seeing improvements in service.”
AARP believes that consumers deserve reliable utility service and excellent customer service, clear communications during major storm events and affordable utility rates.
Do you think Pepco's increase request and the PSC approval is fair, given the circumstances?