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Pepco - 'most hated company in America' - comes under fire for outages

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Pepco, which was listed by Business Insider as the number one "most hated company in America," is facing more scrutiny following the storms.

Pepco's president is answering some tough questions about the company's performance record.

ABC7's Rebecca Cooper talked with him for Sunday's Washington Business Report.

It's the same kind of outrage that has arisen following previous outages. Consumers in the Washington area are more frustrated with Pepco than other area utilities.

A 2010 investigation by the Washington Post found that Pepco's daily performance ranked it as one of the worst public utilities in the nation for reliable service.

But Pepco insists this time they did much better restoring service than in previous outages - pointing to their five-year, $910 million plan to improve performance.

On Tuesday, when Pepco regional president Thomas Graham admitted many would be without power until at least Friday, he also claimed major progress in the three days since the Friday night storm.

"We started with 443,000 customers out of service," Graham says. "We've been able to restore service now to three out of every four customers."

Pepco officials told public officials they've cut the duration of customer outages by 59 percent this year and cut the frequency of outages by 36 percent.

But critics contend those numbers are inflated, pointing out the company no longer shares internal performance evaluations with the public.

D.C. Councilwoman Mary Cheh wants subpoena powers to look at Pepco documents

Asked if he would be willing to make all of the documents available to the councilwoman with or without subpoena powers, Graham says, "Our data is not a secret. We're pleased with our performance....I have no problem sharing that information."

After Pepco routinely found itself at the bottom of the list for national performance standards, the company stopped making that kind of information available.

"I have said publicly, I have said to Pepco, I have said to anyone that would listen - it is time for a game change," says Mayor Vincent Gray.

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