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Despite questions from council members and reporters, Mr. Nazarian remained mum on how the commission would decide on the rate increase. He also stayed neutral when discussing the process of reviewing Pepco’s performance during the derecho.

“What happens next depends on what we find,” Mr. Nazarian said. “I don’t know if there are violations of our law or regulations. What I don’t know is what the next steps and endgame are.”

Among the many residents on hand to watch the proceedings were Della Stolsworth, president of the Luxmanor Citizens Association, and Marilyn Hammerman, a resident of Luxmanor.

The women said their power went off on Friday in their neighborhood and wasn’t fully restored for five days.

“We just sweated,” Ms. Stolsworth said. “We’d go to the mall or do something during the day.”

Ms. Hammerman said her extended family, including grandchildren, headed for Rehoboth Beach, Del., after power had been out for 48 hours.

“There were 15 people in one house,” Ms. Hammerman said. “It was hell.”