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All that rage over Pepco’s difficulty keeping the lights on? Turns out there’s a way to quantify it. Via Business Insider, the American Customer Satisfaction Index uses at least at least a reasonably scientific method to rank the popularity of all manner of different companies. Washington’s electric power utility, with an index that plunged 23 percent over the last year, is not only the lowest ranked of all power companies, but also dead last for American companies generally.

If Councilmember Mary Cheh gets her way, the company will either start improving next year, or be forced to return some of its profits to customers in the form of a rebate. The Public Services and Consumer Affairs Committee today heard testimony on the Reliable Electric Service Amendment Act of 2011, which would require Pepco to perform better than 25 percent of all utilities on indices for frequency and duration of service interruptions by 2012, better than a third of utilities by 2014, better than half of them by 2016, better than two-thirds of them by 2018, and in the top 25 percent by 2020—-or face financial penalties.

Which I guess means Pepco ought to be praying for everybody else to get real bad, real fast.