The Potomac Electric Company began the job of providing street lighting and streetcar power in Georgetown and Northwest D.C in 1891. However, following the Panic of 1893, the fledgling company went bust. Two electrical engineers, Oscar T. Crosby and Charles A. Lieb, and then President of the West End Bank, Frederick C. Stevens, purchased Potomac Electric in 1896. They reorganized the company as the Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco).
At the time, few Maryland homes used much electricity. And while Pepco did win contracts to provide municipal street lighting, their main business lay in running electric street railways in the capitol area the surrounding Maryland suburbs. As a result, within just 4 years, Crosby, Lieb, and Stevens not only bought up the major trolley railway companies in the area but also their main competitor, the United States Electric Lighting Company. But while these expansions let the three men consolidate all their companies under the Washington Traction and Electric Company, the mounting debt bankrupted the firm by June, 1901.
Almost immediately, the rival Washington Railway and Electric Company (WR&E) scooped up the wrecked Washington Traction and Electric company and with it, took control of most the trolley railways in D.C. and nearby towns in Maryland. At the same time, consumers were gradually buying more electric appliances and this increased residential demand for electric power. By 1913, WR&E's subsidiary, Pepco, grew into the sole electric utility company serving D.C. and major parts of Montgomery and Prince George's counties. By 1925, Pepco served over 100,000 customers.
In 1928, the North American Company, which controlled some 80 public utilities, took over the WR&E and began acquiring other area trolley companies. In 1933, North American carved out a monopoly for itself by merging all the area's street railway companies into the Capital Transit Company. But in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash that toppled several giant utility holding companies, Congress passed the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 to break up such similar corporate structures, including North American. By 1947, Pepco was spun off as an independent investor-owned utility company.
Pepco's chief challenge for the next 40 years was to reliably meet customer demand at a reasonable price. Demand expanded exponentially during this time and its service area grew by 38 percent. The company built more generation facilities and also instituted one of the first energy conservation plans that offered lower rates during off-peak hours. When Maryland deregulated its energy markets in 1999 to allow retail competition, Pepco sold its generation plants to become a distribution-only utility. In 2001, the company reorganized and the new parent company, Pepco Holdings, assumed control of the utility.
In 2014, Exelon bought Pepco Holdings for $6.8 billion. Now as part of Exelon's family of companies, Pepco has built a reputation as a generous corporate citizen. Through its employee volunteer programs that help raise awareness in sustainability, safety and wellness as well as its charitable giving that focus on measurable and sustainable program, Pepco helps its communities through investments in education, neighborhood development, culture, and the environment.
Pepco Service Territory
Pepco serves 582,000 customers in Montgomery and Prince George's counties:
Shop for Pepco electricity suppliers in your area.
Compare Pepco Electricity Rates
Compare alternative supplier electricity rates
in Pepco service area.
- Enter zip code.
- Select energy type.
- Choose "residential" or "business".
- Click "Shop for Rates".
You'll then get to see the listing of all the energy suppliers' plans available in your area, along with rates, term lengths, and links to more detail information.
Some Maryland utilities service territories overlap in some counties. If the tool reports that it has found more than one serving your zip code, don't worry! Just choose your local utility from those listed.
How to Start New Pepco Service
Starting electricity service with Pepco is fast and easy. Just visit Pepco web site and click on Start Service.
Customers should call the utility's Contact Center if they need their service turned on sooner.
Be ready to supply:
- Service Address: The address where you want your service turned on or switched.
- The start date for electricity service.
- Personal Information: You will need your name, phone number, email address, SSN OR driver's license number, date of birth, and, for commercial customers, Tax ID.
- Unfrozen Credit: If you have frozen your credit with any of the major credit agencies, you will need to have it temporarily unfrozen.
Will I Need to Pay a Deposit?
Maryland utilities check your credit worthiness before setting up an account and to determine whether you will need to pay a deposit. A utility can look at several factors:
A utility can can also ask for proof of:
- Continuous employment for three years with one employer;
- Ownership of the service address.
If you must pay a deposit -- Maryland law states that deposits cannot be greater than an estimated 2 1/2 months of usage.
The deposit will be due with your first month's bill. However, customers don't need to pay the deposit all at once. The deposit can be billed in up to three installments. The monthly deposit installments are added to your bill for the first three months.
The utility must return deposits plus interest for residential service after one year if:
- The customer pays their bill in full and on time for 12 consecutive months;
- Or the customer otherwise establishes credit.
Understand Pepco Distribution and Supply Charges
In Maryland, your electric bill is composed of the electricity Distribution charges and the Supply charges.
Distribution Charges consist of a flat customer charge per account and a distribution charge in cents per kWh for delivering electricity across the utility's local grid to a customer's home. All Pepco's residential customers pay the same distribution rate no matter who supplies their electricity. The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) regulates distribution charges and these rates usually last several years before being reviewed.
Electricity Supply Charges represent the cost for the electricity supplied in kWh by your utility or a retail supplier. Energy Choice charges from "alternative" or retail suppliers are listed on your bill under "Charges from Electric Generation Supplier".
What is Pepco Standard Offer Service (SOS)?
Pepco's Standard Offer Service (SOS) is a PSC-approved default rate for electricity generation supply if you don't want to shop for retail supplier. Also called the "Price to Compare" or PTC, this rate is a pass-through and represents the actual price Pepco pays for the electricity.
The price Pepco pays breaks down into two principal pieces. First is the cost for the generated electricity. This is set during periodic supply auctions. The other piece is the cost of transmitting that generated high volatge electricity over the bulk power line grid to Pepco's substation transformers for local distribution. Bulk transmission charges must be approved by the Maryland PSC.
Periodic auctions for generation supply are held about usually twice a year in October and April. Rates are usually divided into summer and winter. New SOS summer rates last from June 1 through September. Winter rates, usually higher, begin October 1 and last through May.
- Because the SOS rate changes every 6 months, customers can use the SOS to compare prices with energy retailer plans to see which offers them better value for their needs.
- Plus, because SOS rates are usually announced 12 months in advance, customers can also compare long term plan prices from retailers to save even more.
The Current Pepco SOS Rate
Residential: 9.967 cents per kWh
Expiration date: 4/30/2023
Which Costs More? Pepco SOS vs Energy Choice
The EIA estimates that the average Maryland monthly usage rate is around 957 kWh. Therefore, the average Pepco PTC bill roughly breaks down like this:
|Rate per 957 kWh Used||Monthly Customer Charge||Total|
|PTC Supply Rate||9.967 cents||0||$95.38|
|Monthly Distribution Charges||$0.03572 (non-summer rate)||$8.01||$42.19|
Understand Maryland Energy Choice
Maryland's electricity customers are free to choose a state certified retail electricity supplier. There are many different providers in Pepco service area, offering a huge variety of plans at competitive rates.
Certified retail suppliers compete with each other to buy cheap electricity on the wholesale markets so they can attract more consumers with the lowest rates. That way, residents can compare and shop to find the best deal that best suits for their needs. For this reason, Maryland retail electricity supplier rates are not controlled by PSC. While shopping for electricity may seem confusing, customers can use their utility's PTC to compare offers by certified retail electricity suppliers. This way you can more easily judge which are the cheapest rates.
Shopping for the right electricity plan at the right rate is generally a straightforward process. But not everyone has the same needs. That's why retail electricity suppliers in Maryland offer two types of plans:
Understand Your Pepco Electric Usage
While your electricity usage habits are unique to you, any Maryland native will tell you that winters can get chilly and snowy while summers can get oppressively hot and miserably humid.
Not sure how much electricity you really use? Pepco customers can request up to 12 months of their electric usage plus other relevant information free of charge.
The best way to cut your electricity bill is to reduce your usage:
Your utility company can provide a wealth of resources and offers programs to help you improve your home's energy performance.
Understanding Your Pepco Bill
Your Pepco bill comes packed full with lots of information. Though these can be confusing to customers, they also help you better understand your usage and rate. Here is where we break down the most important items on a sample Pepco electric bill.
- A & B: Bill Overview. It states the billing period, your service address and personal account number with Pepco.
- C: Pepco Contact Information. Here you find out who to contact at Pepco for customer support or emergencies.
- D: Summary of Your Charges. This shows the balance from your last bill, the current total amount due, and the date that the bill is due.
- E: Shows your usage history per bill over the course of the past year to help you compare your energy use over time and understand trends.
- F: Payment Stub. Just detach and return with your payment. It also includes your account number, amount paid, amount due, and the due date.
- Page Two -- G: Detail of Electric Charges. This shows the type of rate for the your service address, the meter number, and the meter data which includes the start and end dates, the number of days, and total kWh used.
- H: Detail of Delivery Charges. Here you can find details about Pepco's distribution charges which includes their delivery charge by kWh, the monthly customer charge, and any additional riders and taxes.
- Page Three -- I: Electric Generation Supply Charges. This section shows infomation about the current Pepco Price to Compare and your electricity supplier. Here you'll find the total supplier charges and a total sum of your electric charges due.
- J: Your Daily Electric Use. The section breaks down your daily total electric use for the billing period. This can be very helpful when you're trying to compare nergy usage and weather.
Pepco Coupons, Energy Promotions, Discounts, Rebates and Promo Codes
As your local utility, Pepco offers few options and discounts available to help its customers save some money. Some programs offer money-saving incentives while others could make paying your monthly bills easier and may even help you qualify for a discounted electricity rate.
|Program Name||Program Type||Benefit|
|Appliance and HVAC Rebates Program||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
Maryland residential customers of Pepco can now take advantage of rebates on the purchase of ENERGY STAR certified appliances and HVAC systems.
|Appliance Turn-In Program||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
Recycle your old working fridge or freezer and get $75. You can also receive a $10 rebate for an old, working room AC unit if picked up along with a qualifying fridge or freezer. Plus, you can save money on your electricity bill when you purchase a new ENERGY STAR?® appliance to replace it.
|Energy Efficient New Homes||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
Pepco is working closely with area builders who are constructing energy-efficient homes that deliver more than just energy savings.
Pepco identifies an energy-efficient home as one that is 30% more efficient than a code-built home (2009 IECC). Entire new homes can also receive the ENERGY STAR certification. Energy efficient homes not only reduce energy costs but also increase comfort. Homes qualified through the ENERGY STAR New Homes Program achieve energy efficiency through established, reliable building techniques.
|Home Energy Assessment||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
Pepco customers can sign up for a virutal or an in-person Energy Assessment of their home. These assessments only take 1-2 hours and cost just $49. A certified energy auditor will:
|Lighting Discounts||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
Pepco customers can take advantage of instant discounts on the purchase of qualified ENERGY STAR?® certified bulbs from approved retailers or the Pepco Marketplace website.
|Pepco Payment Arrangements||Bill payment assistance||
Pepco offers payment arrangements to allow residential customers to pay their account balance in monthly installments. These installments are billed along with your current monthly charges and both must be paid on time, in full each month in order for you to stay on your payment arrangement.
|Gift of Energy||Bill payment assistance||
You can make a payment toward a friend or family member's Pepco bill. You can give any amount to any Pepco customer you choose for any reason. Your gift will appear on a future bill as a credit to the recipient's Pepco bill.
|Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP)||Residential Energy Efficiency||
Maryland's EmPOWER Program helps eligible Pepco customers to reduce their electric bills through home weatherization and conservation with installation of materials and equipment at no charge.
|Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP)||Bill payment assistance||
Through the Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP), MEAP is a federally-funded program (known nationally as "LIHEAP") that helps low-income households with their home energy bills. The program is available to eligible customers whose income is 175% of the Federal Poverty Level or below.
|Utility Service Protection Program (USPP)||Bill payment assistance||
Customers who qualify for MEAP may qualify for the Utility Service Protection Program (USPP). Customers receive an electric bill for the same amount each month throughout the year. The USPP program helps qualified low-income households stay connected and pay off their past-due utility bills.
|Arrearage Retirement Assistance||Bill payment assistance||
The Maryland Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) offers grants to customers with large, past due electric and gas bills.
|Good Neighbor Energy Fund||Bill payment assistance||
The Good Neighbor Energy Fund is designed to help customers who are facing hardships. Pepco customers can contribute by donating no more than $1 over their month energy bill. Customer contributions are matched, $1 for every $1 collected by Pepco??"up to $100,000.
|Electric Universal Service Protection (EUSP)||Bill payment assistance||
EUSP is a grant for electricity assistance.
Because Pepco serves a large sized market, knowing how well it ranks among other similar-sized utilities can tell you a lot about how well it serves its customers. While Pepco is not accredited with the BBB, the utility is very well rated in Escalent's 2021 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential study and ranked in the top ten in J.D. Power's 2020 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study.
|MD Energy Ratings||Better Business Bureau||Escalent 2021 Utility Study||J.D. Power 2020|
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How do I get the Cheapest Pepco Rate?
Shopping for a new Energy Choice Plan can feel confusing at first. But, there are 3 things you should have with you when you shop for electricity:
- Your current bill. Your past usage per billing period can help you estimate a how much a plan might cost you each month.
- The current Pepco SOS rate and expiration date. You can use Pepco SOS to quickly compare retail supplier offers to shop for a better electricity rate. You can choose the utility's rate but remember that changes seasonally.
- Your Pepco account number. Your 11 digit account number is at the top of your bill. Having this handy lets you sign up with an alternative electricity supplier right away.
Before you start shopping, there's some final last details you also need to understand ahead of time:
Who bills me? Pepco sends a single bill that outlines and add up your monthly charges.
What are the Terms of Service? The Terms of Service explain and identify specific charges and any fees a customer will face when they sign up for an electricity plan. Many suppliers offer different rates for plans with different term lengths. All Maryland electricity customers should read and understand the terms of service and contract summary for any plan they are interested in before they sign on to the plan.
What are early termination fees? Switching retail suppliers before a contract ends can involve paying early termination fees. These can bite you if you want to switch retail providers before your electricity plan contract ends.
Compare Maryland Electricity Rates in Your Area
Electricity Out? Wires Down? Here's Who You Contact...
Having a problem with your electricity service? Here's the proper people to call:
Pepco Billing Problems
If you have trouble paying your monthly bill call Pepco's Customer Service: 1-202-833-7500. You can learn what options you have. Be sure to have your account number ready. You can also apply for payment methods online through your Pepco account.
One-time Payment Delay If you having trouble paying your bill and are not facing a pending disconnection and have not have defaulted on a Payment Arrangement in the last 12 months, you may qualify for One-time Payment Delay. This allows you to delay paying your current Pepco bill for 30 days. Note that delaying your current due date does not affect the due date of future bills. Therefore, your One-time Payment Delay may fall close to your next due date. To find out more, log into your Pepco MyAccount.
Consider the Budget Billing Plan: If you are constantly blind-sided by seasonally high bills, Pepco's Budget Billing spreads your costs evenly month to month by charging a pre-arranged amount with each bill. This ensures that customers aren't presented with unexpectedly high bills at peak-usuage times of the year.
In the Dark?
You can report outages or downed powerlines in your area by calling 1-877-PEPCO-62 (877-737-2662). Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can also report an outage on-line by logging into MyAccount.
All power transmission lines are extremely dangerous! Never attempt to move a downed power line by yourself. Call 911 and then notifiy Pepco!
What!? There's still no power?
You can track outage repairs throughout Pepco service area on this map.
Latest Pepco News
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Prepare Now For Summer Rate IncreasesSeveral Maryland electric utilities have filed to raise their SoS rate starting on June 1. Now's the time to learn what you need to know to pay lower electricity bills and save money!This year has been difficult for Maryland energy customers. Natural gas...
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