Monday, January 31, 2011

Governor's Letter to Pepco

January 29, 2011

Joseph Rigby, Chairman
Pepco Holdings Inc.
701 Ninth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20068
Re: Pepco Power Outages Beginning January 26, 2011

Dear Mr. Rigby:

It is with great frustration and enormous concern for the 26,000 Montgomery County residents and the 1,500 Prince George’s County residents that remain without power that I write, yet again, to express my anger that we seem to be back where we started.

Why can’t Pepco perform as its fellow utilities do? To date, BGE has restored service to 227,800 of the 233,500, or 98%, of its customers affected by the storm. Pepco still has 27,500 customers in Maryland without electricity, a restoration rate of a dismal 80%. I am also outraged that your customer communication remains unacceptable; the outage map posted to your website crashed yet again, leaving customers seeking information about their outage in the dark.

Finally, the reports of Pepco’s slow response in requesting assistance from other jurisdictions is outrageous and demands further inquiry.

Despite earnest promises, numerous press releases, and even a six point plan, families in our State woke up, for the third morning in a row, to a cold, dark house, with Pepco advising them that service should be restored by 11 pm tomorrow night. Five days in the dark is simply not acceptable.

I have asked the Public Service Commission to conduct an immediate hearing regarding these many issues arising from this storm. I also expect the General Assembly to pass legislation that Delegate Feldman and I will introduce, requiring the Commission to adopt enhanced reliability standards and allowing the Commission to fine utilities for poor performance and direct those payments back to the affected ratepayers.

I know that the Pepco employees are hard at work, in cold difficult conditions, doing the best work they can. My frustration is directed at you and your leadership team; these elongated outages must end.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Martin O'Malley

cc: Douglas R. M. Nazarian, Chairman