The Gaithersburg City Council plans to file a petition opposing Pepco’s request to increase its rates by 12 percent.
"I think we do have to take a stand," Councilwoman Cathy Drzyzgula said. "If this is how Pepco's going to act, then we have to respond."
Pepco has asked the Maryland Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities in Maryland, to approve a proposed rate increase of $43.3 million. The proposed rate increase would take effect July 4, 2014.
Last year, Gaithersburg paid Pepco $869,494.20 for electricity, according to city attorney Lynn Board. The city would pay about $54,000 more for electricity if the Public Service Commission approved the rate increase, Board said.
Powering streetlights alone would cost the city approximately $236,000 a year under the new rate, Board said.
The deadline to file a petition is Jan. 3. Pepco made the rate increase request Dec. 4, Patch has reported.
On Monday night, the Rockville City Council also agreed to file a petition opposing the rate increase request.
“We need to say we don't agree with this, if this is how we feel. I absolutely feel this is ridiculous,” said Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton just before the council’s unanimous vote to file a petition.
Pepco has claims the rate increase is needed to cover the cost of its infrastructure and reliability, according to documents the company filed with the Public Service Commission.
The average residential bill for Pepco’s half million customers in Montgomery and Prince George’s County would be $4.80 more per month, The Washington Post has reported.
A 2010 Washington Post analysis determined that when it compared against other electricity providers nationwide, Pepco's performance ranked at the bottom.
This would be the company’s third rate increase request in two years, The Washington Post reports. In 2012, the PSC authorized $18 million of Pepco’s $68 million request, The Post reports.
In July, the PSC authorized $27.9 million of Pepco’s $60.8 million request.