Good news! As part of a settlement agreement with Solar United Neighbors, the DC government, Pepco, and other stakeholders, last week the DC Public Service Commission (PSC) rejected Pepco’s proposal to add new residential demand charges in our electric bills.
Residential demand charges are a particularly unfair, confusing, and unpredictable rate increase because of how they are calculated and how they 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 and installing solar panels on their roofs.
When our army of solar supporters mobilizes, we win.
One of the important factors in the settlement was the strong public outcry against the rate increase. Scores of solar supporters like you contacted the PSC to urge them to reject Pepco’s plan, explaining that unfair demand charges would also undermine the District’s ambitious clean energy goals and the groundbreaking Solar for All program to help low- and moderate-income Washingtonians to reduce their electric bills by 50% through solar installations.
Solar for All, a program of the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment, seeks to provide the benefits of solar electricity to 100,000 low-income households and reduce their energy bills by 50% by 2032. The program, which was established by the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Expansion Amendment Act of 2016, is funded by the Renewable Energy Development Fund (REDF). For more information about Solar for All visit: http://doee.dc.gov/solarforall.