(Article changed on June 25, 2013 at 08:59)
Delmarva Power - Posterchild for corporate welfare by Delmarva Power
Poorly performing utility company Delmarva Power has made another application to the Maryland Public Service Commission to raise its distribution charges yet again.
Public comments and submissions are currently being invited from consumers in a series of forums to be held across the state. Customers will have an opportunity to tell regulators about the second-rate service & unjustifiably high charges which subsidizes the corporate greed which nickel & dimes consumers trapped in a captive market.
Comparing electricity bills from 2007 with those of today reveals an outrageous track record of price gouging :-
* The Customer Charges have almost doubled -- up over 96%
* The Distribution Charges have been raised by nearly 14%
* The Administrative Credit, which actually gives money back to the consumer, has been reduced by over 64%
* Overall charges for distribution have gone up by over 40%
are dismayed at distribution rate rises of this magnitude. No small businesses in
addition, Delmarva's customers have long been forced to put up with a
lamentably unreliable & inconstant power supply service which compares
unfavorably with some
And as if that isn't galling enough there is now also an Em Power MD Charge which was non-existent in 2007. This was introduced by the State Government to pay for initiatives to reduce energy demand via the introduction of energy efficiency & conservation programs. Despite the help provided by the tailwinds of an economic slump & generally milder winters, Delmarva Power is failing to meet either the government's or its own (anaemic - 30% less demanding) targets. The report "Falling behind in energy efficiency' revealed that Delmarva was the worst performing utility company in the state, set to miss its target for energy efficiency by a whopping 68%, plus a further 59% shortfall in the target for peak demand reduction. Failure to meet these goals means fewer jobs created, increased threats to viability/stability of the entire system, and poorer health & environmental outcomes.
Electricity consumers are now being asked to fork out yet more money for another round of increased delivery charges. Disgruntled customers are asking why the power company Chief Executive, Joseph M.Rigby isn't taking a cut in his excessive $11 million annual salary & compensation package? And why shareholders are still receiving an unrealistically high dividend every quarter - year after year after year?
All this luxurious corporate welfare has been underwritten by constant rate rises imposed on captive consumers despite the fact that the value of the faltering parent company, Pepco Holdings Inc, has actually dropped by a third, from over $30 a share six years ago, to about $20 a share today.
Local customers have not forgotten that the largest fine ever, of $1 million, was made by the Maryland Regulators against Pepco Holdings Inc for its constant failure to maintain its power lines over many years.
It remains to be seen if the PSC takes notice of objections to Delmarva Power's proposed rate rises or just rolls over so that captive consumers see yet more of their hard earned cash go to support indifferent service, overpaid executives, and greedy shareholders i.e. corporate welfare on an industrial scale.