Hrant discusses long-overdue upgrades to Bradley Hills power lines with PEPCO employee.
Hrant believes that we deserve to have reliable and affordable service from our utilities.
Unfortunately, Pepco continues to rank in the bottom quartile in the country when it comes to service reliability. We also have more than 250 miles of outdated cement water mains that need updating in Montgomery County. As a result, we face some of the most frequent power outages, longest periods of service loss and unresponsive providers anywhere in the country. We need elected officials who will hold our utilities accountable. As your Delegate, Hrant will:
Increase funding for the Public Service Commission
The Public Service Commission (PSC) relies on tax payer funding to provide oversight to companies such as Pepco. Currently, the PSC does not have the capacity to fully monitor Pepco and other service providers for violations of existing standards, nor the staff size to conduct comprehensive analysis and management. Hrant will work to deliver more funding to the PSC so that it can provide proper scrutiny to hold Pepco and other utilities to a higher standard.
Increase penalties on utilities
Many states across the country have enacted stiffer penalties on utility companies that do not upgrade outage responses following devastating storms. Under this model, the state would be free to impose heavy fines against utility providers that do not meet service expectations in such a crisis. This would be defined as systematic failings judged in how the company responded to its customers during the storm, and the level of appropriate preparation that was taken leading up to the incident. Massachusetts leveled $24.9 million in fines against utility companies in 2012 alone.
Enable citizens to recover attorney fees in suits against utilities
Currently, Pepco and other utilities are able to recover the cost of their legal fees as well as the costs of securing experts. Hrant wants to level the playing field and allow for citizens to recover the fees they may incur when filing suit against Pepco or other utilities. California has utilized a similar system for decades, which has helped to put consumers on an even footing with the utility companies in its state.