Councilmember Nancy Navarro:
The Pepco Problem: Please Weigh In
"Standing Up for All of Us" Dear Neighbor,
As we know all too well, the weather this summer has been tumultuous, leaving thousands of residents without power over extended periods of time. I have received many calls and emails from District 4 residents who were specifically concerned with the reliability and quality of Pepco’s services. Many residents, including myself, have experienced outages on days when no significant weather event occurred, and these outages often lasted 24 hours or longer. Moreover, after the recent storms that caused thousands of residents to lose power, many had to wait almost a week for restoration, and did not receive accurate information from Pepco regarding restoration times. At the urging of Councilmember Roger Berliner – Lead Member for Energy and Environment – the Council sent a letter
to the Maryland Public Service Commission
(PSC) requesting an investigation into Pepco’s reliability.
As a result of the Council’s request, the PSC has initiated
an investigation into the reliability of Pepco’s service to customers. I attended the first hearing on August 17 with seven of my Council colleagues. Pepco representatives discussed various initiatives and measures the company is considering, including the targeted undergrounding of utility lines, strengthening their partnership with state and county forestry departments, and other reliability improvements. Perhaps the most disappointing fact that came to light during the hearing is that Pepco has been ranked in the bottom third or fourth quartile nationally for service interruptions over the last two years – a startling fact that is unacceptable for residents of Montgomery County. Read more about Tuesday’s hearing here.*
The Maryland Public Service Commission will hold another public hearing on Monday, August 30th at 6 p.m. in the Council Office Building (100 Maryland Ave, Rockville, 20850) in order to hear the concerns of Montgomery County residents regarding Pepco’s service. A sign-up sheet will be available to residents 30 minutes prior to the hearing. If you have comments but are unable to attend the hearing, please do not hesitate to contact me
so that I can share your concerns with the PSC.
In addition, a call from a concerned constituent in the Tivoli Community prompted me
to question the efficacy of the coordination between Pepco, the Department of Health and Human Services, and Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service in addressing the needs of vulnerable residents with serious health issues during power outages. I have requested that Committee Chairs George Leventhal and Phil Andrews convene a joint Health and Human Services and Public Safety Committee meeting to address these concerns. You can check the County Council homepage
for future committee sessions and agendas.
Finally, the Chair of our State delegation, Delegate Brian Feldman, has drafted a bill which would establish electric reliability standards and penalties for failing to meet them. This bill is currently being reviewed by County and State lawmakers, and may be an effective tool for holding Pepco accountable for its performance.
As always, do not hesitate to contact my office at (240) 777-7968 if you need help of any kind. My staff will be happy to provide additional information or assistance. Thanks so much,
* Si desea recibir esta información en Español, favor hacer click aquí
I pride myself on the strong constituent services provided by my hard-working staff. The Washington Post
last year profiled one of my aides, Alexis Reed, who works directly with constituents on issues affecting their communities. These cases have ranged from general neighborhood concerns, such as crime and pedestrian safety issues, to individual issues, ranging from deer and tick problems to cable television service problems. If you are having a problem in your community, please contact my office at: (240) 777-7986 or Councilmember.Navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov
. [Read Article]
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