Loose Lips

Enough With the Pepco Love!

Pardon LL for interrupting the Pepco love-fest going on. The previously much-maligned electric utility  just received a hearty "attaboy" from Mayor Vince Gray and other city officials at a news conference.

"I don't know what they could have done better," says Gray.

LL does: not been so crappy to begin with.

It's a testament to just how slipshod Pepco's record has been in keeping the lights on that any performance on their part that resembles that of a competent electric utility garners praise. Yes, Sandy was a monster storm; but in the D.C. region, it wasn't that bad. Not that many trees fell, and there was no massive flooding like further north. Given those circumstances, it's entirely reasonable to expect the monopoly that provides you electricity to have a small number of power outages. And that's exactly what happened.

So congratulations, Pepco, for defying (this time) the amazingly low expectations you set with your lengthy record of poor performance.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Abbe Milstein

    Thank you Mr. Suderman for finally stating what so many of us are thinking. I formed Powerupmontco after the Derecho to give a voice to montgomery county Pepco ratepayers who are sick and tired of hearing Pepco's self-congratulatory tone in the face of it's bold lies to ratepayers, poor performance and low utility company standings. We were very lucky this time, but there are still thousands without power in MoCo who have yet to see a utility truck.
    Best,
    Abbe

  • noodlez

    IM WITH YA SEWERWMAN.
    PEPCO IS STILL THE WORSE AGENCY IN THE AREA.

    THIS CONFIRMS IT!
    THE MERE FACT THAT THEY ARE TAKING CREDIT AND SPIKING THE BALL FOR SOME LOW NUMBER OUTAGES PROVES TO ME THAT THEY AINT SHIT.

    EVEN IF WE DID NOT GET WIDE SPREAD OUTAGES IT DOES NOT MAKE UP FOR NUMEROUS TIMES THAT THEY LEFT US IN THE DARK FOR DAYS/WEEKS.

  • REALDC

    What a joke! This mayor is so out of touch.

  • Corporate Hack

    Why don't you and the others who love to hate Pepco just give it a rest for once? Having a low number of outages is not merely a function of "luck". It has a lot to do with hardening of the system to make it more resilient to conditions that would have previously caused an outage. In addition, a more rapid and robust restoration effort is the result of advance planning to have resources and personnel in place when needed. The sudden nature of the derecho did not allow for this to happen with any of the affected utilities, and Pepco performed consistent with or better than its neighboring utilities. Last year's hurricane Irene did allow for advance planning, and PEPCO outperformed its neighbors that time as well. In that instance, the Pepco haters once again blamed the good performance on luck and a weak storm. It is clear that no good performance can go without accompanying snarky comments from haters like you who traffic solely in negativity in DC. Please, just give it a rest for once. Your whining is annoying.

  • Corporate Hack

    As a final note, BG&E has more than 125,000 customers out of power right now. Dominion has more than 50,000 out in Norhern Va. Pepco has just over 5,000 out for its DC & MD territories. Do you professional critics think that the storm hit VA & MD, but just skipped over DC and Pepco's MD service territory?

  • Mrs. D

    While this storm may have spared Pepco its worst, my electric service reliability has improved DRAMATICALLY over the last year. I certainly do not want Pepco to rest on its laurels or pat itself on the back and declare "mission accomplished," but they have come FAR from the REVILED company they were even just a year ago. Good job, Pepco, and KEEP IT UP. I won't forget how much you sucked in recent memory, but if my power continues to stay on as reliably as it has for me in the last year, I will continue to give you lots of attaboys.

  • Drez

    I think Pepco did well because they got lucky. There was a lot of warning and they "over-staffed"- based in predictions that the local effects of this storm would be much worse.
    It'll take more than this storm to make me think they've turned any sort of corner.
    That said: good work, Pepco. Keep it up.
    (oh, and Comcast is the worst).

  • John Anthony

    Give me a break. The derecho knocks YOUR trees down, which smash Pepco's equipment and they can't cut up YOUR trees, remove YOUR debris and rebuild their equipment fast enough for you. You people are unreal.

  • seeseehpounder

    I'm with Noodlez. Pepco is full of 'bamas. Just because you Pepco defenders use correct grammar, punctuation, use logic, and form concise arguments you can't stop Noodlez. He will always be around to give voice to the mongaloids out there. While he may not be able to figure out how to turn off his caps lock, he comes up with a great point about the spiking the football thing. Next he will be saying we need to help main street not wall street.

  • My Power Is ON

    I don't care how lucky Pepco got, my power did not go out during the hurricane, and I am thankful for that. So for once give Pepco their props.

    It is weird though that VO and Pepco has the same "Luck" within a span of days. He gets cleared from the OCF and Pepco has minimal work they have to do to restore the area....

    Hurricane Sandy is CORRUPT!!

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  • truth hurts

    I'm with the first two comments and LL on this one. PEPCO finally got a "C", breaking its string of straight F's.

    Whoowoo!!

  • William H. Holla

    Let's be clear everyone. Pepco is still and should still be heavily ridiculed and critiqued for their piss poor service. As a Pepco customer in Maryland, Ive complained beyond belief on how bad the company is.

    In that same breath, I think the company deserves credit in this specific instance regarding Sandy. Let's understand that under non Sandy circumstances, many of us would have experienced outages. The fact that it was limited shows that Pepco did some advance work (and I wont pretend to know what that is) to ensure and prevent this during Sandy.

    My expectations were that our power was going to go out and I only hoped that Pepco's turn around to restore power would improve. In that regard they surpassed my expectations by a mile.

    Finally, for folks saying that Pepco doesnt deserve credit because we werent hit hard is bogus cause if power outages was rampant, we would all be complaining right now using that same logic.

    So lets give Pepco some credit today and use this as the barometer we judge them next time we experience any storm, Sandy or otherwise.

  • Rasheeda Moore

    In the past my power would've gone out if I had sneezed hard let alone strong winds. I was pleasantly surprised not to experience an outage. The first time in almost four years at my present location.

  • drez

    There's an old adage that goes: "those who fail to plan, plan to fail".
    Pepco certainly had the time and spent real resources on their plan this time around. It remains to be seen whether they have developed a plan and allocated the resources to adequately prepare for a derecho- or even an ice storm- type of event. Is there any indication that they have? if so, I don't see it.
    The jury is still out.

  • WARD4NDC

    I must say, Pepco did an excellent job during this horrific weather. My power went out at 10:30 p.m. in upper Northwest Washington, D.C.

    My power was back on around 1:15 a.m. The power was out in my neighborhood for about 3 hours and I expected days.

    Thank you, thank you, Pepco. Job well done.

    Washington, D.C. Resident

  • SEis4ME

    In other words, don't give Pepco credit for doing anything because the "outages" were so low.

    You perpetual complainers humor me.

  • noodlez

    YO POUNDEE-CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR!

    AS MUCH AS I HATE WALL STREET AND FEEL LIKE MAIN STREET IS BEING TREATED LIKE A PEPCO CUSTOMER WITHOUT POWER FOR TWO WEEKS I AM ACTUALLY IN THE TANK FOR SIDE STREET!

    PEPCO SHOULD RUN FOR MAYOR BECAUSE THEY BOND FOLK TOGETHER LIKE NO OTHER BE IT FOR GOOD OR FOR BAD.
    THEY CAN ACTUALLY CLAIM THE ONE CITY SLOGAN.

    P-PEOPLE
    E-ELECTRICITY IS OUT
    P-PLEASE
    C-COME BACK
    O-ON

  • Mrs. D

    William, for us at least, it goes beyond that. I'm with Rasheeda that my power used to go out for no apparently good reason. I actually stopped re-setting most of my clocks at one point because I was sick of re-setting them at least twice a week. Then, shortly after Irene, when I didn't have power for multiple days, they came through, re-strung the lines and hacked up the trees, and since then, my power has not gone out ONCE. We had some scary flickers during the Derecho, other storms, and Sandy, but they were only serious enough to occasionally re-set the modem...they weren't severe enough to knock the clocks out. Is Pepco A-okay? Nope, others seem to still lose power frequently and I'm sure there's more that can be done. They need to do whatever that "more" is to make everyone's service as reliable as mine now is, and work to keep mine and everyone else's as reliable as mine is now. But the improvement has not just been through one less-powerful-than-expected (for our region) storm, it's been ongoing for over a year now, for us at least. If you ask me about my service since Irene, I give them an A! They need to work to keep that A, and get everyone's service up to A-level, but credit where credit is due.

  • http://ConsDem ConsDem

    What a nasty little article. I think the people in this area (and I am a longtime resident)are spoiled. Some articles mention the customer base as being high-powered electronic gadget oriented. Well whoop dee do!!! A storm is dangerous and unpredictable. So maybe the metropolitan area wasn't hit as hard but let's give the company some respect instead of being so proud to say it's the most reviled company in the country (which in itself is stupid).

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