D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine, in concert with the D.C. Office of the People’s Counsel, filed a complaint with the D.C. Public Service Commission on Thursday against Pepco for systematically mishandling community solar projects, possibly overcharging thousands of households on their monthly electric bills and subverting the city’s efforts to meet its clean energy goals.
“The District has tried to work with Pepco for nearly two years to address problems with community solar programs and ensure 6,800 households — including thousands of low-income residents — get the solar energy discounts they are owed,” Racine said in a statement. “Unfortunately, these programs are still not working as intended, and residents continue to get overcharged on their electric bills. Enough is enough. We have heard from numerous D.C. residents who are rightly fed up with Pepco’s seeming inability, intentional or otherwise, to allow for consumer choice and transition to clean energy, as required by law.
“What’s more, Pepco deprived low-income residents of assistance with their electric bills. We’re taking action now to uncover the true extent of Pepco’s mishandling of these programs — and to force the company to uphold its legal obligations so residents can receive the discounts they are entitled to and the District can continue to build a more sustainable and equitable future,” Racine said.
Sandra Mattavous-Frye, the People’s Counsel, agreed with Racine and said her agency has tried to resolve the issues with Pepco to no avail.
“Because the utility has not fixed the issues on its own, the Office of the People’s Counsel and the Office of the Attorney General is asking the D.C. Public Service Commission to step in and use its regulatory power to investigate and bring the utility into compliance with the law and make consumers whole for benefits they have lost,” Mattavous-Frye said.
The agencies, through the petition to the Public Service Commission, want Pepco to provide relief for District residents who were deprived of promised credits on their bills, compensate community solar project owners, and pay penalties for legal violations. The company is reviewing the complaint, WTOP reported.
“We are committed to helping the District achieve its leading climate goals and continue to support our customers with interconnecting their local solar into the local energy grid and helping connect our customers with community solar projects, the spokesperson said in a statement, WTOP reported.