Exelon Merger Goes Through, ACE Customers Should See Credit on Bills

Tom Johnson | April 19, 2016 | Energy & Environment
With Atlantic City Electric now part of Exelon, new owner promises increased reliability, enhanced electric substations

The half-million-plus customers of Atlantic City Electric will receive a credit totaling $113. 16 in their bills this month and May, the utility said yesterday.

The credits are a result of the utility’s long-sought approval of a merger between its former parent, Pepco Holdings Inc., and Chicago-based Exelon Corp. late last month.

The approval had been held up by the District of Columbia Public Service Commission, the final regulatory go-ahead necessary in the $6.8 billion acquisition of Pepco’s utilities in New Jersey and two other states. The deal was first proposed in May 2014.

“This is only the start of benefits customers will see as a result of the merger,’’ said Vincent Maione, president of the Atlantic City Electric region. “In addition to financial benefits to customers such as this one, the merger includes commitments to improve service and reliability as well as a commitment to sustain our level of giving to nonprofits for the next ten years,’’ he added.

[related]Atlantic City Electric and other state utilities are under increased scrutiny from state regulators to improve service reliability and to reduce the length of outages when they do occur.

New Jersey has suffered a number of extreme storms in recent years, the most damaging occurring during Hurricane Sandy when some customers were left without power for up to two weeks. Most recently, tens of thousands of ACE customers lost power during a blizzard late in January.

In March, the company filed a request with the state Board of Public Utilities to boost revenue by $78.9 million, a boost, if approved, that would increase the typical customer bill by about $12 per month.

With more financial resources at its disposal, Exelon has said the acquisition will allow the utilities to ramp up spending to improve reliability. Other benefits of the deal, according to the company, will be improved vegetation management, upgrades to electric substations, and enhanced programs for low-income customers.

New Jersey approved the Exelon merger in early 2015, although the state Division of Rate Counsel had concerns about the deal.