Pepco wants DC residents to bear the cost of infrastructure that will strong-arm DC into missing it’s clean energy goals. On July 21st, residents will hold their own town hall in lieu of mysteriously missing public hearings, which are meant to give the community a voice on the rate increase.
The hosting organization is We Power DC, a new group of concerned DC residents who believe that community control over energy is the quickest way to guarantee access to energy, lower utility bills, and ultimately to achieve the clean energy goals DC set in 2018.
“Paying for essential services like energy utilities has become increasingly hard for District residents with the onset of coronavirus, all while the climate-induced heat waves continue to hit the region,” said Johanna Bozuwa, a DC resident and a speaker at the townhall.
Bozuwa is a manager of the Climate & Energy Program at Democracy Collaborative and has written extensively on the benefits of public power. “In this unprecedented moment PEPCO is still seeking a massive rate increase that will make it even harder for District residents to pay, and the investor-owned utility also is failing to invest adequately in our clean energy future,” she said.
Pepco not only facilitates utility shut-offs, they are in the midst of applying to raise the cost of energy even further. Pepco is currently petitioning the Public Service Commission (meant to serve the public interest when it comes to utilities) to lock in a multiyear rate increase instead of the normal requirement to discuss each year. They hope to pay for new energy infrastructure in DC, while quietly neglecting affordable, clean energy options the District pledged to develop.
Other speakers of the town hall include Anjali Patel from the DC Office of the People’s Counsel and Keya Chatterjee from the US Climate Action Network. The event showcases how energy can and should be affordable, clean and community-controlled.
We Power DC is a collaboration among several organizations including 350 DC, Metro DC DSA, Sunrise Movement DC, ONE DC, and Jews United for Justice.