* Task force member's company recommended for job
WASHINGTON May 15 A nearly $1 billion plan to
bury power lines in the District of Columbia was recommended on
Wednesday by a task force set up last year after widespread
The interim multi-year plan would bury up to 60 high-voltage
Pepco Holdings Inc lines in the U.S. capital that are
most affected by storms and overhead-related outages, Mayor
Vincent Gray said in a statement.
"This proposal is a win for the District," said Gray, who
appointed the panel. About half the District of Columbia's power
lines are underground.
The 15-member task force included Pepco Chairman, President
and Chief Executive Joseph Rigby. It recommended that the
District put up 50 percent of the needed financing and Pepco put
up the rest of the financing.
The arrangement would combine traditional Pepco funding of
debt and equity for $500 million and $375 million in
District-securitized bonds. Another $62 million to $125 million
would come from District Department of Transportation
The District of Columbia's Public Service Commission has to
approve the plan.
For residential customers, rate increases will start at
about $1.50 per month. They will increase to a maximum of $3.25
after seven years, or about a 3.23 percent rise.
Low-income customers will be exempt from rate increases. For
commercial customers, hikes will generally average between 5
percent and 9.25 percent, the statement said.
Gray set up the panel after violent thunderstorms knocked
out power to millions of power customers in the eastern United
States in late June 2012, including thousands in the District of