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Maryland fines Pepco $1 million for unreliable service

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Local,Maryland,Rachel Baye

Maryland's utility regulator fined Pepco $1 million for failing to provide Maryland customers with reliable electric service.

Pepco failed to maintain its distribution system over a period of years, and as a result the company forced customers to endure "excessively high frequencies and long durations of electric outages" both during storms and on clear days, the Maryland Public Service Commission announced Wednesday. The outages were worsened by Pepco's subpar customer service.

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  • Expanded coverage of Maryland
  • Pepco spokesman Clay Anderson declined to comment.

    The regulator's decision comes less than a week after Pepco asked to increase Maryland residents' rates by $68.4 million. In the request, Pepco pointed to expenses the company is incurring to improve its infrastructure and provide more reliable service.

    In the decision released Wednesday, the Public Service Commission told Pepco it will not be allowed to pin the cost of improving its service on customers.

    Although Pepco had argued that customers would have paid for the improvements through previous rate increases, the Public Service Commission agreed with arguments by the Maryland Energy Administration, Montgomery County government and the Office of the People's Counsel arguments that the system was likely worsened by years of neglect, making the costs of improvements higher than they might have been had Pepco maintained the system.

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