- Exelon and Pepco Holdings have reached a deal with Montgomery and Prince George’s counties that would cover the bulk of Maryland customers impacted by the companies' proposed merger.
- The settlement includes commitments to provide a combination of bill credits, funding for energy-efficiency programs and renewables investments, low-income customer assistance and other provisions.
- The deal was filed with Maryland utility regulators, who have the final say on the state's approval of the merger. The companies have been steadily enhancing merger benefits in the jurisdictions where the deal faces review, but earlier this month the Maryland Attorney general expressed doubt that the merger would benefit the state's residents and urged regulators to reject it.
Exelon and Pepco have filed a settlement with Maryland regulators which would boost merger benefits in exchange for allowing the deal to move ahead. The two counties that signed on to the settlement represent three-fourths of Pepco Holdings total customers in Maryland, and all of its subsidary Potomac Electric Power.
The deal has been filed with the Maryland Public Service Commission and was signed by the companies, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, the National Consumer Law Center, National Housing Trust, Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition and other groups.
The deal includes a commitment to designate a portion of a proposed $94.4 million customer investment fund to provide $36.8 million in bill credits, or approximately $50 per Pepco and Delmarva Power customer in Maryland. The remainder — $57.6 million — would go toward funding energy-efficiency programs designated by Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and the PSC.
“We are pleased to have reached this settlement agreement, which will deliver significant, direct economic and reliability benefits to all of Pepco and Delmarva Power’s customers in Maryland,” said Chris Crane, Exelon president and CEO. “It also represents our commitment to further modernize our grid to incorporate more renewable and distributed generation, increase reliability and protect consumers through effective cost-containment measures.”
The deal also has the companies committing to assist economically challenged customers lower their energy bills by dedicating at least 20% of the energy efficiency funds to programs targeting low- and moderate-income customers.
And a $50 million “Green Sustainability Fund” would be created to stimulate investment in solar, energy storage and other distributed generation throughout the PHI service territory. The funds could also be used for such things as energy-efficiency investments, microgrids, water conservation in buildings, clean transportation, community solar and other qualifying energy technologies.
A final decision from the Maryland PSC is expected to come in April, and the merger must still be approved by utility regulators in Washington, D.C., where the deal has faced some of its strongest opposition.