The fight to stop unfair electric rate increases in the District of Columbia is well underway and you can be part of it.
See Also: Fight For Reliability and Against Increasing Your Electric Bill
AARP is reaching out to DC ratepayers to surface concerns and answer questions about the proposed rate increase. A proposal filed by Pepco, with the DC Public Service Commission, includes three changes of great concern.
Pepco’s application is also a request to recover upgrades to the Advanced Metering Infrastructure or A-M-I. As you may have heard recently, Pepco is in the midst of modernizing the electric grid. One aspect of this is the replacement of your old analog electric meter with a digital “smart meter.” Pepco received a grant from the Department of Energy for $46 million, or half the cost of these upgrades. They are asking you for the other half of the cost of this upgrade, though its benefits for the power company are more certain than benefits for customers.
One of the new elements of Pepco’s application is what is called a Reliability Investment Recovery Mechanism or RIM. This RIM is technically an annual rate surcharge to pay Pepco’s for certain investments in its distribution system. In more basic terms, though, the RIM is a means for Pepco to raise rates annually through a surcharge without going through the process of a rate case. This means no public input and no stakeholder inquiry into whether the request is fair.