Delmarva Power pledges better reliability after Exelon merger

 (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)

(AP Photo/Brian Kersey)

The power company’s parent company, Pepco Holdings, officially filed its merger application with the state Public Service Commission.

Pepco announced plans to merge with Exelon Corporation in April and now, with an application tendered to the PSC, company officials are turning their attention to their customers.

Delmarva Power’s Region President Gary Stockbridge said the merger will “provide Delmarva Power customers with improved reliability and service, immediate and ongoing financial benefits, and enhancements for the Delaware community and economy.”

As part of the pledge to improve reliability, Stockbridge noted that the average length of time customers are without power will be reduced by 24 percent by the year 2020. Exelon has offered to be subjected to penalties if Delmarva Power’s average outage duration is more than 122 minutes.

On Tuesday, Delmarva Power unveiled plans to upgrade its transmission line from its substation in southern New Castle County to its Milford substation in Sussex County. The $71 million project is also expected to improve reliability when it is finished in 2017.

No immediate job cuts

When major companies merge, there is always concern for the future for employees whose positions may become redundant. Company officials said that workers at Delmarva Power will be safe for at least two years after the merger.

“We will honor all collective bargaining agreements and in fact, we’re pleased to report that Pepco Holdings has successfully negotiated contract extensions with all four of the unions representing the utility employees,” said Exelon’s Vice President Dick Webster.

Delmarva Power will maintain its headquarters in Newark. Stockbridge will remain region president.

In addition to Delmarva Power, Pepco Holdings also owns Atlantic City Electric and Pepco. Exelon operates three electric and gas utilities, BGE, ComEd and PECO.

The PSC will hold hearings on the proposed merger before issuing a ruling.

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