Argh, talk about an idiotic idea. Check out this article (headline is linked):
Outages could lift Pepco rates
If you read through a little of that you find that somewhere along the lines someone decided that it would be a good idea -- to encourage energy conservation -- if Pepco would be able to charge higher rates when less energy was being used. Huh? Did I write that correctly, you bet I did. Apparently some politician(s) decided it would be a great idea if Pepco was able to charge more when customers used less of their product and that if that was the case it would encourage customers to, well, use less?!
What planet were these politicians on and how much did they receive by way or campaign contributions and lobbyist perks because I just don't see what they were thinking when they allowed what they seemed to have allowed.
First up, if you want customers to use less electricity you should be charging them higher prices for it. When the customers use more or use the same amounts but pay higher prices for doing so what are they likely going to do? Oh, yeah, use less... unless you have the current system where apparently you can get a bulk discount just for using more, yay!
Second, the lawmakers and Pepco should be encouraging customers to use less electricity as often as possible and there is no way in, well, you get the idea... that paying higher prices should be making customers want to use less. Customers should be saving money when they use less electricity as Pepco would also be saving money by using less fuel and needing less power generation to do their business.
Personally I'm more in agreement with the Montgomery County (Maryland) politician that wants Pepco to be forced to pay customers for the outage time they have to suffer through. Granted those customers should already be paying less as they had *zero* power usage during the outages, but it seems this screwed up rule/law allows Pepco to charge more instead.
Insanity, absolute insanity.