Many of you have asked me for an update on Pepco. Our own power has been out since 6 pm yesterday, and I’ve heard from dozens of constituents, too. I’ve spoken several times with Pepco’s reps since last night, including a conversation with Tom Graham, the Regional President, less than an hour ago.
Pepco’s response to this storm is totally inadequate, and I don’t think they grasp at all the scale of the pain, cost, and risk they impose on our community through their lack of preparedness and amateurish response. They did not invoke their mutual assistance agreement with outside utilities until hours after the first snowfall last night, and didn’t call in more outside crews until additional conference calls this morning. Crews are coming in from Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, in addition to the 500 local staff and contractors Pepco has working on restoration, which was clearly not enough. And yet around 3 pm yesterday they sent us all a press release predicting widespread outages. They knew outages were on the way, but didn’t call in the cavalry until it was too late.
I need to hear everyone’s experience with Pepco so we can force some changes. I’ve told their regional president that I’m sending to him personally the worst experiences and the best ideas from Silver Spring and Takoma Park. Please click here to let me know whether you lost power, whether it’s been restored, what your experience has been and what we should do to make improvement s in Pepco.
And once we get through this storm, we have to make structural changes to demand reliability and accountability. I’m glad the PSC has finally come out with proposed reliability standards for Pepco. They did so because Montgomery Delegation Chair Brian Feldman, Councilmember Roger Berliner, and I have drafed a bill to impose reliability standards, as well as financial penalties if the standards are not met. This week, I secured a commitment from the Governor’s legislative director that the Governor himself will now sponsor our bill.
Your stories and suggestions can also help us pass that bill. Please click here to let me know how we should improve Pepco. Hopefully, we can channel our mutual frustration into progress so won’t have to spend many more nights in the dark.