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For Immediate Release

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Potomac Electric Power Company Is Ready for Competition in Maryland; Governor to Sign Bills

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 6, 1999

President and CEO of Potomac Electric Power Company (NYSE: POM) John M. Derrick, Jr., today praised the leadership of the Maryland General Assembly and the Governor for working through the complicated and arduous task of ushering in Customer Choice for electricity providers. Governor Parris Glendening announced he would sign two bills that were several years in formation and months in public debate to provide consumers with new opportunities to lower their energy bills, strengthen environmental protections, ensure service for low-income residents, and preserve local tax revenues.

"I congratulate the legislators and applaud the Governor for these historic bills that will protect the economy of Maryland from losing businesses to neighboring states and at the same time preserve local tax revenues," said Derrick. "The people of Maryland will be well served by their perseverance to do the right thing at the right time."

The legislation calls for customer choice to be phased in for residential customers over a three-year period starting in July 2000. Commercial, industrial, governmental and institutional customers all will have choice starting in 2001. Other features include:

  • A rate cut starting at 3 percent for customers who stay with their incumbent utility, although Pepco customers are exempt because the proposed sale of its power plants could provide greater savings;
  • A $34 million Universal Service Fund to ensure service for low-income customers; and
  • Disclosure by all energy suppliers of their fuel sources to promote more consumers choosing renewable energy sources.

"Everyone in the state will benefit from having Customer Choice because this compromise legislation was a consensus of the mainstream stakeholders in the state," Derrick added. "We look forward to the future because this hurdle, now passed, sets the stage for the Maryland Public Service Commission to approve our settlement agreement to sell our generating facilities and to accelerate choice and lower prices for our customers."

Under the terms of Pepco's settlement agreement, all customers in the company's Maryland service area can choose a supplier starting July 2000.

 

Point of Contact:
Nancy Moses

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