OK, so rereading my posts again, I really don't want to give the impression that all went according to plan. It didn't and I tried to keep my cool throughout but sometimes it took superhuman strength not to loose it.
A really distressing incident was when the electricians did a heavy up (increased the power going to the house) on the electricity.
Usually, what happens is this:
1 – Contractor hires electricians
2 - Electricians apply for a permit with D.C.R.A. (D.C. Regulatory agency) to do the work on this specific house
3 – Electricians complete the work
3 - Pepco does an inspection of the site to confirm that the project was well done
4 - Pepco either a) turns on the power if it was off or 2) increases the power to the house if the power was on during the entire upgrade
What actually happened was this:
1- Contractor hired electricians
2 – Electricians applied for a permit with DCRA
3 - Electricians took their sweet-ass time upgrading the electricity, especially in the light of my contractor being away for training for a week.
4 – Just before the inspection is due, boom! Pepco decides to turn off the electricity. I call a few times on the first day (Thursday), and am promised that it will be turned on the next day
5 – It doesn’t turn on the next day. I call 8 different people, at least 15 different times. DRCA and Pepco blame each other and Pepco gives the following excuses for the electricity being turned off:
- your name’s not on the bill (not true)
- you did an illegal heavy up (nope, all the permits are there, and DCRA verified they were all legit)
- DCRA didn’t send us the inspection documents (well that’s because the work just got finished and we haven’t called them
for the inspection)
- Well we need the inspection paperwork (ok, but this doesn’t explain why you cut off the electricity – but DCRA peeps were
amazing and came to do an inspection on Sunday! Thank you DCRA, this is above and beyond the call of duty!)
- We don’t have the right equipment to reconnect you
- We don’t have the right people to come reconnect you
- The owner had an illegal hookup since October 2008 (try calmly explaining 4 times in a row that you bought the house in
end of February 2010 and had no clue, and you shouldn’t have to suffer for someone else doing something illegal on your
property way before you bought it)
And this goes on and on, and on, in the summer heat (no lights, no air conditioner, everything in the fridge rots and reeks) for SIX DAYS.
SIX DAYS of calling 15 times a day, of talking to different people who don't talk to each other, of hearing a million different excuses, of complying with their requirements and getting nothing is return. SIX DAYS of not being able to concentrating on your day job because you're worried your food will attract rats, and your roommate will move out, and your contractor should be doing this, and etc, etc, etc...
At the end of the six days, I got everybody to call both Pepco and DCRA (contractor, roommate, ANC commissioner), I begged, pleaded, got mad, stayed calm, tried reasoning with them, tried acting stupid, all to no avail.
A lady from Pepco finally came to the house (when only my roommate was around) called a large number of people in the upper chain of command in Pepco demanding answers. She relayed to him a story of a couple with small children, who went without electricity and was given the same run around, for 90 DAYS!!
The next day, she convinced the higher powers-that-be-in-Pepco to send an emergency crew to my house to reconnect it. I could have kissed the guy who reconnected me on the mouth, with tongue and all, since I was so relieved.
But seriously, I hate you Pepco.
[Disclaimer: I really hope Pepco doesn’t know where I live. Please don’t disconnect me again for no reason and without warning again. It was a hellish experience, and I don’t ever ever ever want to deal with you again – I will be paying my bills when they are due, and hope to keep our interactions to this strict minimum.]
I can’t wait to get solar panels.