Pepco seeks approval to charge additional $24M

The utility giant Pepco is asking the Public Service Commission for approval to charge an additional $24 million in distribution rates, which Pepco officials say would raise the average customers bill by about $5-6 a month.

On Monday, protesters were chanting outside the Public Service Commission against Pepco.

Customer Daniel Plummer finds the request almost unbelievable, seeing that Pepco's performance in recent years has been called into question time and time again.

"Right now I'm still in shock and I'm not happy that I just got this news," Plummer said.

Pepco officials say the rate increase would pay for infrastructure upgrades that would improve reliability customer service and, in the long run, lower outages.

Customers say while they understand the importance of investing for the future, they remain skeptical.

"When they do want a rate hike, I want to know more about their operations and about salaries and things," said customer Judy Mapondera.

Customers should not be expected to pay more without seeing a complete improvement in service, said Metro Councilmember Yvette Alexander in a statement.

The Public Service Commission could decide on the rate hike in a couple of months.