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Utility bill changes coming because of new cost recovery method for utility-administered efficiency programs

You may notice that the EmPOWER surcharge on your energy bills—which funds important energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction programs that can save you money—has recently increased. This change is due to a 2022 decision by the Public Service Commission that ultimately will save utility customers millions by eliminating a large unpaid balance on which the utilities have been earning returns. The unpaid balance on which customers have been paying the utilities a return is similar to carrying credit card debt and paying interest on it. As the balance is paid down, the Commission’s decision will lead to temporary increases in the EmPOWER surcharge for customers of BGE, Delmarva Power & Light, Pepco, Potomac Edison, SMECO, and Washington Gas Light through 2026. But after 2026, the surcharge will be lower than it would have been without this Commission decision. For more information, click below.

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Short webinars on topics that impact you

The Office of People’s Counsel offers short educational webinars on topics that impact you. Each live webinar is between 15-30 minutes long and is hosted by our director of consumer assistance and an expert on the presented topic. These short sessions give you the chance to learn new things and to ask questions that you have on your mind. Check out our winter series and keep checking back for new posted content. You can also sign up for OPC’s newsletter to be alerted on new topic areas. If you have an idea on something you think OPC should do a short webinar on, send an email to

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Updated gas spending report and petition on long-term gas planning

OPC released an updated gas utility spending report that provides critical information on current and future business-as-usual spending to maintain and expand the gas delivery system—the pipes, concrete, computers, and other infrastructure that make up the local distribution system. The updated report provides important information about future gas bills in the absence of reversals in current practices. The new data show significantly increased spending plans based on utility proposals pending before the Public Service Commission. The data relied on is publicly available information from utility reports and regulatory filings. While actual utility rates depend on many decisions yet to be made, the report provides numerous data and general projections that reflect business continuing as usual, without significant deviations in State policy, customer behavior, or utility practices.

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