We're Not Gonna Take It

Pepco customers speak out in protest against a proposed increase to their electric bill

By Patti Petitte
|  Friday, Nov 20, 2009  |  Updated 7:16 PM EDT
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We're Not Gonna Take It

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If Pepco is going to raise its distribution rates, customers aren't taking the news sitting down.

Earlier today, protestors representing the organization Justice First gathered in front of the Public Service Commission in Northwest Washington before a scheduled public hearing. They used a megaphone to announce past Pepco rate stats, and held signs demanding "no rate hike."

"Although we are a new organization, we've seen enough in this short time to know Pepco must go," said Crystal Kim of Justice First before the Public Service Commission at today's hearing.

In May, Pepco filed for a distribution rate hike. According to Pepco, the increase would add approximately six percent to the average customer's electricity bill. The company blames the hike on "rising costs to provide customers with safe and reliable electric service."

"Be clear, these are only the rates for distribution," said Betty Ann Kane, chair of the Public Service Commission. "These are not the rates for the electricity itself. Rates for electricity itself are set by the market."

Distribution inlcudes meters, billing and transmission lines. Today's public hearing was the third held on the issue. If approved, the rate increase would go into effect at the start of the new year.

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