DC SUN Sends Message to Pepco

By Emily Steiver on May 20, 2011

For those of you who missed the rally in front of Pepco today– you missed a great event!
There was an awesome turn out, fantastic banners, great chanting and great spirit! The DC Police Department closed off a lane in the street in front of Pepco– Their flashing bright lights and quiet, calm presence helped make the event even more substantial than it would have otherwise. Pepco sent out a security guard to film the participants. Local TV was there to cover the event. DC RISE UP was there, with megaphones and bags of coal to pass out to share holders as they entered the building. Tom Kelly-our fearless DC SUN Pepco trouble shooter—rocked sun shaped temporary tatoos on his recently bald head! Tom brought his custom printed “Power from the People” signs with lightning bolts to the event. Thanks to all of you that showed up! YOU REALLY MADE MY DAY!!!

Inside John Capozzi (Ward 7 Coop leader) spoke about his intention to introduce a shareholder resolution to require Pepco to affirmatively address climate change. He spoke about his interest as a shareholder in seeing Pepco embrace solar as a money making enterprise and suggested that Pepco might help finance and or market solar to residential customers. John said that Pepco was missing huge opportunities in this area.

John Rigby Pepco CEO expressed concern and said he wanted to address John’s issues before John felt compelled to come back to the shareholder meeting next year! He offered to personally meet with John in the near future!

Inside, Anya Schoolman (DC Sun and MTP Solar Coop leader) spoke about Pepco’s roll out of smart meters and smart grid and their apparent hostility to solar in general. She said that as a shareholder she was concerned that Pepco was turning the environmental and solar advocacy community into enemies instead of potential allies in the building of a new energy economy. She mentioned that there had been a number of complaints filed with the PSC. She also mentioned that Pepco’s actions were engendering resentment that would translate into real regulatory risk affecting the bottom line of Pepco shareholders.

After the meeting, both John and Anya were approached by a number of senior executives from the Pepco team. Charles R. Dickerson, Vice President, Customer Care mentioned the November 2010 meeting with DC Sun and Pepco management in the office of DC Council member Bowser. Anya replied that there has been zero follow up since that meeting. Important news however, he announced that the staff of the Green Power Connection Team has been tripled! So maybe Lisa Bladen will have some help, and you won’t be put on hold for 45 minutes any longer? I look forward to your reports.

Also, John Huffman, President of Pepco Energy Services expressed interest in meeting with us and working collaboratively with the Coops. Although PES works on efficiency and solar for large commercial and government buildings we suggested there might be ways to collaborate–for example, by bringing the Solar Coops in on a bulk purchase of PV panels to bring our price/watt down significantly. We would love your ideas on how we might take advantage of PES new “interest” in finding common ground with the Coops.