WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - Maryland Pepco customers may soon see an increase to their utility bills.
The utility wants to implement a rate increase that would see most Marylanders' monthly bills go up by 2.75 percent, or about $3.51.
They say they are now working to recover approximately $29.99 million for upgrades and infrastructure improvements.
As a result, Pepco says they have now filed a rate adjustment to "recover the costs of reliability and to more than 578,000 customers in Maryland."
"While we know that these increases may be challenging for our customers, lower electricity supply costs, operating efficiencies and energy efficiency programs have reduced our residential customers bills about 16 percent lower than they were in 2011," said Pepco region president Donna Cooper in a statement.
They inspected and upgraded equipment like switches, poles and other devices and installed stronger, tree-resistant aerial cable.
Crews also trimmed trees, which they say cause about 40 percent of power outages for customers each year.
They say in the past five years, the number of electric outages has decreased by 46 percent and average outage length has been reduced by 59 percent.
Pepco says eligible customers can receive financial assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a federally-funded program that helps low-income families meet the costs of their home energy needs.
Additionally, Pepco also awarded the Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF) in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties with over $1,000,000 in funds to aide with energy assistance. They say WAFF provides additional money to Pepco's low- to moderate-income customers in Maryland who are having challenges paying their energy bills.
Pepco says they offer payment options, like budget billing, to help customers manage their monthly electricity bills and their seasonal usage changes.
The company says customers who wish to learn more or take advantage of these important programs can visit www.pepco.com/WaysToSave or call (202) 833-7500.