- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 19, 2001

Montgomery and Prince George's County residents are in for a surprise this month — credits on their electricity bills.
The average credit will be $152, which during the summer should cover about seven weeks of electrical service, said Bob Dobkin, Potomac Electric Power Co.'s spokesman.
"[Customers] are delighted," Mr. Dobkin said. "Energy bills were high over the winter. This is a pleasant summer surprise."
Customers are reaping the benefits of the company's $2.75 billion sale of its power plants and other assets to Southern Energy Inc. in December.
The company is sharing its profits with customers under its settlement agreement with the Maryland Public Service Commission that enabled it to sell off its power plants, Mr. Dobkin said. The commission is the government arm that oversees utilities.
Pepco sold its power plants so that it could focus more on delivering electricity as Maryland and the District began deregulating the industry. Because it had a relatively small number of power generators, Pepco decided to sell them off.
The D.C. Public Service Commission is considering Pepco's plan to credit city customers and probably will approve it within several months, Mr. Dobkin said.
The credit is determined by how much energy a customer used for the year ended March 31. The company is crediting residents $0.01331 cents per each kilowatt hour used.
The credit is showing up on the payment portion of the bills and is applied to future bills if it exceeds the current account balance. Pepco is sending letters with the bills explaining the credits and has set up a telephone hot line.
At the company's annual meeting yesterday, Pepco's shareholders voted to approve the company's planned purchase of Delaware electric company Conectiv, which serves New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. Their approval came a day after Conectiv shareholders signed off on the deal.
Pepco said in February it would buy Conectiv for about $25 per share. The companies expect the deal to close early next year, pending regulatory approval.
The company's profits grew 72 percent to $111.9 million ($1.02 per share) in the second quarter from $64.9 million (55 cents per share) a year earlier. Operating revenues grew 5 percent to $1.23 billion from operating revenues of $1.17 billion the year before.

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