Fight against residential demand charges from Pepco!
I stand with Solar United Neighbors against including residential demand charges in our electric bills proposed by Pepco in their latest rate increase request with the PSC (FC 1150).
Residential demand charges are a particularly unfair, confusing, and unpredictable rate increase because of how it is calculated and how it can impact your bill for the rest of the year. Typically, demand charges have been applied to large commercial operations, where the impact of the energy use—say to run a factory full of equipment—would materially impact the amount of energy the grid needed to supply. Residential demand charges, on the other hand, make no sense and are punitive to those who try to lower their bills by using less energy overall.
The proposed demand charge would be based on the average of the maximum hourly demands recorded for each day of the billing month between the hours of 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. This means that if your energy use spikes at some point during the day, you could get hit with new charges on your next power bill. Making matters worse, customers won’t know what their demand charges will be until they get their bill.
Utilities in other markets have made the same move, aiming to discourage ratepayers from going solar and make it harder for them to control their electric bills. In D.C., they run counter to our policies that encourage energy efficiency and solar throughout the District by increasing your electric bill even if your energy use from the grid is reduced. And it will undermines the progressive Solar for All program, D.C.’s groundbreaking low-income solar program, by making it harder for low- and moderate-income Washingtonians to reduce their electric bills by 50% through solar installations.
Pepco may think they can push us around, but we won’t back down. No demand charges on my electric bill!