Pepco’s “Customer Charge”?

“Dear PoPville,

I live in a rowhouse that’s been converted into two condo units. Pepco runs three electrical meters to the property, one to each unit and the third to the common area, which is a small foyer with a single interior light fixture. We barely use this light (last month the actual usage was zero), but every month, the bill for the common meter includes a “Customer Charge” of $38.75.

In contrast, the Customer Charge on the bill for my individual unit is $16.09. The Pepco reps say they can’t change or lower the Customer Charge for the common meter because that’s designated a small commercial building. There’s apparently no way to reclassify it or otherwise remove or reduce the charge. We’re getting pretty tired of paying an extra $40 a month for a light bulb we almost never use. Does anyone have any advice here? I’m considering hiring an electrician to rewire the foyer light fixture to one of the units so that we can cancel the common meter entirely, but I thought I’d check here before pivoting to a contractor. Thanks!”

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