Help stop Exelon from Taking over Washington

In one of our partner cities, Washington, D.C; the Illinois based utility Exelon is trying to buy the regional utility, Pepco.  While we at CRE support business, and understand why Pepco and Exelon would want such a deal, the reality is that this merger is bad for DC rate payers, and it’s bad for the solar industry.

Tomorrow night the Public Utility Commission will be hearing testimony from DC residents before making a ruling on whether or not this merger is good for the community. We at CRE urge all of our friends in the DC area to attend the hearing, to testify if possible, and to voice your concerns over letting Exelon into the Washington DC energy market.  

Through a highly engaged community, and progressive and forward thinking policy-makers, Washington D.C. has set itself apart as a premier city for renewable energy. With advanced net metering legislation, and a healthy and thriving Solar Renewable Energy Credit market, DC has incentivized investment in renewable energy, simultaneously creating jobs, attracting money and encouraging residents to lower their carbon foot print.

In that same period, however, through substantial investments and aggressive lobbying, Exelon has set itself apart as an anti- Renewable Energy Utility, with a record of being  unfriendly to solar,  unfriendly to energy consumers, and unfriendly to taxpayers.

Exelon entering the D.C. energy market is a threat to residents paying for electricity and a threat to the renewable energy market in the city. There is a real and substantiated fear that, if this Exelon takeover is allowed to continue, the gold standard of renewable energy policy in DC will be immediately under attack by a utility with the means and success rate to strangle the thriving market.

On Wednesday, December 17th, the Public Utility Commission will hear from the community and ultimately decide whether Exelon is welcome in Washington, or not. On the DC  consumer’s behalf, the People’s Counsel for the District of Columbia is urging the PUC to vote in favor of DC residents, finding that, “Overall, there are far too many risks for consumers and nothing but benefits for Pepco and Exelon.” Our friends at DC SUN also oppose the merger for several reasons, including as Executive Director Anya Schoolman points out, that “Exelon has a long record of opposing solar and wind power. This includes vociferous opposition to the federal tax credit for wind energy and the use of hardball tactics to block a popular effort to expand the Illinois solar market.”

Washington D.C. is not alone in their concerns about Exelon. Maryland made serious demands to allow Exelon in their market- notably demanding far more than Exelon is offering DC. And in an effort to protect their energy users, the states of New Jersey and Florida ultimately rejected Exelon’s attempts to enter their markets.

CRE is asking our friends to speak up for solar, and help protect our cities that have successfully embraced renewable energy. Join the Washington D.C. coalition- Power DC– in the fight for solar. Join the discussion on Twitter, “Like” the Power DC coalition’s page on Facebook to stay informed, and get involved!

 

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