Potamac Edison History
Potomac Edison got its start way back in 1896 as two separate interurban railway companies: the Hagerstown Railway and the Frederick & Middletown Railway. In 1913, the Hagerstown Railway and the Frederick & Middletown Railway negotiated to build a new power plant to serve both companies and wound up merging to become the Hagerstown & Frederick Railway Company. For the next decade, the company expanded by buying other small electric companies and trolley systems in the region.
In the early 1920's the railway found that two-thirds of its revenue came from selling excess generated electrical power to residents and businesses. To reflect this new direction, the company reincorporated itself in April, 1922 as the Potomac Public Service Company. It expanded its utility business further in the following year when it merged with the Edison Electric Illuminating Company of Cumberland and the Cumberland Electric Street Railway to form Potamac Edison Company.
The upstart utility caught the acquisitive eye of the huge utility holding company, American Water Works & Electric Company (AWWEC). In 1924, it bought Potomac Edison then packed it off as a subsidiary of its West Penn Electric Company to help integrate a growing and complex array of power plants, transformers, and transmission lines in the Allegheny Mountains of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
After the passage of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, the new Securities and Exchange Commission dismantled AWWEC. In January 1948, West Penn Electric became the independent owner of three operating companies, West Penn Power, Washington County Light & Power, and Potomac Edison. After further shedding its railways and other non-utility businesses, West Penn Electric became Allegheny Power in 1960.
In the late 1990s when Pennsylvania and Maryland deregulated their electricity markets, Allegheny Power reorganized as Allegheny Energy, Inc. As part of the restructuring for the new deregulated market, Potomac Edison transferred ownership of its generation capacity to other Allegheny Energy subsidiaries, making it a distribution-only utility. As a result, Potomac Edison must buy all its electricity from outside generator companies.
FirstEnergy acquired Allegheny Energy in 2010, making FirstEnergy the nation's second-largest electric utility at the time with 6 million customers. At this point, FirstEnergy chose to drop the Allegheny Energy trade name and reinstate its subsidiaries' original names which included Potomac Edison.
Today, through FirstEnergy, Potomac Edison continues its long history of giving back to its community through a number of charitable programs. These include energy conservation efforts like the Community Connections Program, supporting education through its STEM Grant, and giving through the FirstEnergy Foundation.
Potamac Edison Service Territory
Potamac Edison serves 270,000 customers in some or all of these seven Maryland counties:
Potamac Edison serves these cities:
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- Enter zip code.
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- 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 Potomac Edison Service
Starting electricity service with Potomac Edison is fast and easy. Just visit the FirstEnergy web site and simply fill in the online Start Service form.
Start requests take at least 2 days to process. If your service is delayed longer than 2 days, the utility is required to to provide reasons in writing.
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, and your Social Security Number. These will be required.
- 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.
Customers don't need to pay the deposit all at once. If the deposit is under $150, the utility is to give you the option to pay the required amount over a period of at least 8 weeks. If the deposit is over $150, the utility is to give you at least 12 weeks to pay it.
The utility must return deposits plus interest for residential service after one year if:
Understand Potamac Edison Distribution and Supply Charges
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 Potomac Edison'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 Potamac Edison Standard Offer Service (SOS)?
Potomac Edison'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 Potomac Edison pays for the electricity.
Periodic auctions are held about 4 times a year. Rates are usually announced in January for the summer period beginning 6 months later on June 1. Summer rates last from June 1 through September. Winter rates, usually higher, begin Ocotber 1 and last through May.
- Because the SOS rate changes every 6 months, customers can use the SOS to compare with energy retailer plans to see which offers them better value for their needs.
- Plus, because SOS rates are announced 12 months in advance, customers can also compare long term plan prices from retailers to save even more.
Potamac Edison Current SOS Rate
Residential: 7.310 cents per kWh
Expiration date: 4/30/2022
Which Costs More? Potamac Edison SOS vs Energy Choice
The EIA estimates that the average Maryland monthly usage rate is around 957 kWh. Therefore, the average Potomac Edison PTC bill roughly breaks down like this:
|Rate per 957 kWh Used||Monthly Customer Charge||Total|
|PTC Supply Rate||7.310 cents||0||$69.96|
|Monthly Distribution Charges||$0.01796||$5.70||$22.89|
NOTE: These western Maryland municipal utilities provide power for their local residents:
Understand Maryland Energy Choice
Maryland's electricity customers are free to choose a state certified retail electricity supplier. There are many different providers in Potamac Edison 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 Potomac Edison Electric Usage
While your electricity usage habits are unique to you, any western Maryland native will tell you that winters can get bitterly cold and summers can be oppressively humid and hot.
Not sure how much electricity you really use? Potomac Edison 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 Potomac Edison Bill
Your Potomac Edison 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 Potomac Edison electric bill.
- A, B, & C: Bill Overview. It includes your address and personal account number with Potomac Edison, the billing period, the amount due, and the date that the bill is due.
- D: Messages. Here you find important notifications from Potomac Edison including cost adjustments as well as the current Stand Offer Service (or Price to Compare) rates offered by Potomac Edison.
- E: Account Summary shows the amounts of any unpaid balances, current Potomac Edison distribution charges, current supply charges, the total bill and the due date.
- F: Meter Summary and Usage Information: This shows the usage information measured by the electric meter at your address.
- G: Charges from Potomac Edison include the type of rate you are being charged, the monthly customer charge, the distribution charges, and the total.
- H: Charges from Electric Generation Supplier show the name and address of your electricity supplier, their base rate charged, and the total supplier charges due.
- I: Payment and Account Balances by Company lays out the amounts that have been paid or are owed to Potomac Edison and your supplier.
- J: 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.
- K: Payment Stub. Just detach and return with your payment. It also includes your account number, amount paid, amount due, and the due date.
Potamac Edison Coupons, Energy Promotions, Discounts, Rebates and Promo Codes
As your local utility, Potomac Edison 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 Potomac Edison 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. 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||
Maryland Energy Efficient New Homes Program provides financial incentives for construction of more energy-efficient single-family, multifamily and manufactured homes.
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 Analyzer||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
First Energy's Home Energy Analyzer is a simple, convenient tool you can use to save energy and money. Best of all, it's free. Just register online with your account number and zip code.
|Quick Home Energy Checkup||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
First Energy customers can sign up for the Quick Home Energy Checkup. A certified energy auditor will:
|Lighting Discounts and Water Heating Rebates||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
First Energy's customers can take advantage of instant discounts on the purchase of qualified ENERGY STAR?® certified bulbs.
Customers can also receive an instant $500 discount at participating retailers when they purchase a qualified heat pump water heater.
|Potomac Edison Payment Arrangements||Bill payment assistance||
Potomac Edison 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.
|Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP)||Residential Energy Efficiency||
Maryland's EmPOWER Program helps eligible Potomac Edison customers to reduce their electric bills through home weatherization and conservation with installation of materials and equipment at no charge.
|Medical Certificate||Bill payment assistance||
This will delay termination of service for up to 30 days if you are eligible for a medical certificate or renewal, and if you or anyone living in your home is seriously ill. A licensed physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner must notify Potomac Edison in writing.
|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.
The Utility Service Protection Program (USPP) helps qualified low-income households stay connected and pay off their past-due utility bills.
|Arrearage Retirement Assistance||Bill payment assistance||
The Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) offers grants to customers with large, past due electric and gas bills.
|Community Energy Fund (CEF)||Bill payment assistance||
Potomac Edison shareholders will increase the value of contributions by matching 50 cents for each dollar donated to help pay electric bills.
|Electric Universal Service Protection (EUSP)||Bill payment assistance||
EUSP is a grant for electricity assistance.
Potamac Edison Reviews
Because Potomac Edison serves a mid-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 Potamac Edison is not accredited with the BBB, the utility is rated well in Escalent's 2021 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential study and ranked above average 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 Potomac Edison 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 Potomac Edison SOS rate and expiration date. You can use Potamac Edison 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 Potomac Edison account number. Your 12 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? Potomac Edison 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:
Potomac Edison Billing Problems
If you have trouble paying your monthly bill call Potamac Edison's Customer Service: 1-800-686-0011. 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 Potomac Edison account.
Consider the Average Payment Plan (APP): If you are constantly blind-sided by seasonally high bills, check out Potomac Edison's APP option. This payment plan averages your electric usage for the previous 12 months and then calculates your monthly payment as 1/12 of that yearly amount. This ensures that customers aren't presented with unexpectedly high bills at peak-usuage times of the year.
- Call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877)
- Text OUT to 544487 (LIGHTS)
- Report an outage on-line
All power transmission lines are extremely dangerous! Never attempt to move a downed power line by yourself. Call 911 and then notifiy Potamac Edison!
What!? There's still no power?
You can track outage repairs throughout Potamac Edison service area on this map.
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