Community support builds for revived Exelon-Pepco merger plan

The Washington, D.C., Public Service Commission recently did an about-face after initially rejecting  Exelon Corp.’s $6.4 billion bid to merge with Pepco.

The commission voted to consider a settlement that Mayor Muriel Bowser agreed to with Exelon, which includes $78 million in new benefits, an increase in ratepayer assistance, solar energy subsidies and job guarantees.

“We have listened to stakeholders in all of the territories served by Pepco Holdings utilities and have designed our merger to address the unique concerns in each community,” Paul Adams, media relations manager at Elexon, told Power News Wire.

Many community leaders support the merger and are trying to convince other organizations and residents in the community to also support it. A petition that urges the community to support the deal said the merger between Exelon and Pepco “paves the way for a cleaner and greener D.C.” by advancing the district’s long-term sustainability goal, as Exelon will expand solar energy and make it easier for customers to install solar panels. The merger also provides local residents, businesses and organizations with more economic opportunities.

“The merger will bring a range of benefits, including residential bill credits, support for renewables and energy efficiency, assistance for low-income customers, fewer and shorter outages, continued financial support for local nonprofit institutions and investment in local jobs and the economy," Adams said.

The settlement agreement proposes an increase in the Customer Investment Fund to $72.8 million, which assures residential customers that they will not face any increases until March 2019. It also allows approximately $16 million to be dedicated to assisting low-income citizens. This $16 million allocation includes providing more home energy assistance, weatherizing homes, allowing debt forgiveness and offering more outreach. 

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