DC regulators green light Pepco-Exelon merger..creating largest utility in the nation
District regulators approved a $6.8 billion merger between Pepco Holdings and Exelon on Wednesday, creating the largest publicly-held utility in the country.
The decision marked a surprising turn of events for the deal,which regulators had rejected twice before and which appeared to be on life-support in recent weeks as D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and other city leaders lined up in opposition.
The merger means that Pepco will now absorbed by a company with the largest number of nuclear reactors in the country and widespread operations throughout the mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and New England.
The sale affects about 2 million electric customers cross the mid-Atlantic who are served by Pepco Holdings, including more than 815,000 ratepayers in the District, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.
And it is widely expected those customers will see higher electric rates – possibly as soon as this summer – as has happened in Baltimore and other cities after Exelon acquired energy distributors there. Pepco has not sought annual rate increases since 2014, when Exelon first proposed its takeover of Pepco.
The proposal had been closely watched by environmentalists, utility and public-service attorneys, and financial analysts across the country. Because of its size, the deal is likely to change the national utility landscape.
It was also seen as a test of strength for the business community in Washington, which lobbied hard for the merger and wants to promote the nation’s capital as business friendly.
In voting 2 to 1 to approve the deal, the D.C. Public Service Commission said it “was in the public interest,” noting that the utilities would deposit $72.8 million in a “customer investment fund”, set aside $11.25 million for energy efficiency and conservation programs targeted toward low-income residents and carve out $21.55 million for pilot projects such as modernizing the electric distribution grid.
“These benefits, among others, would not be available to District ratepayers if the merger is not approved,” the commission said in a statement.
the M&A continues on..
“Because of its size, the deal is likely to change the national utility landscape.”
this is a significant one..
“The merger means that Pepco will now absorbed by a company with the largest number of nuclear reactors in the country and widespread operations throughout the mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and New England.”