Be Aware of Scams

We want to alert our residential and commercial customers to several scams taking place in our area.

Fake Invoices

Some scammers, posing as third-party energy suppliers, are sending fake utility bills via email to customers, asking them to click on an enclosed link. It is suspected that, by clicking the link, your computer could become infected with a virus or malware.

For your protection, we ask that you pay your utility bill by going to our website, mailing us the hard copy of the remittance portion of your invoice or visiting one of our Customer Courtesy Centers. Do not open any email asking for payment unless it was sent by us or your respective third-party energy supplier.

Reloadable Debit Cards

Scammers are also contacting customers and telling them that their electric service will be shut off for non-payment unless they purchase a reloadable debit card (Green Dot MoneyPak or Vanilla card).

Victims are instructed to call a phone number and provide the card’s account number and unique serial number. Once the scammer obtains the card’s identifying information, the value is stolen.

Commercial customers are also being told to use the same method of payment to have a new meter installed. The caller claims that the state has mandated these meter changes. This is not true.

Always Use Caution

Many utility companies, including Pepco, contact customers in person or via phone for various reasons. If someone claims to represent our company or another entity, it is important that you verify the employee’s identification—especially if they are requesting immediate payment. When addressing past due accounts, we always offer multiple payment options.

Our employees always carry an official company identification card. If proper identification cannot be produced when asked, you should notify the police or the company with whom the individual claims to be associated. Similarly, if someone calls claiming to represent a company, ask them to verify their identity and affiliation.

If you have any doubt about the validity of a person claiming to represent Pepco, please call us immediately at 202-833-7500.

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Give the Gift of Energy

goeThe holiday season is almost here! Avoid the shopping frenzy and give your loved one a Gift of Energy instead. It is the simplest way to help a relative, friend, or colleague with their monthly expenses.

Giving a Gift of Energy is no different than making a payment on someone’s account. All you need is the customer’s name and address – not an account number – to purchase the Gift of Energy.

You can purchase a Gift of Energy for a customer at one of our Walk-In Service Centers (listed below), or on our website, where a Gift of Energy contact form is available. Once the form is submitted, a customer care representative will contact you and complete the transaction via telephone. We will also send you a free holiday greeting card that can be used to notify the customer of your generosity or you may keep the gift anonymous.

You can purchase the Gift of Energy at any of the following locations:

Washington, D.C.
701 Ninth Street, NW
Hours: Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Rockville, MD
201 W. Gude Drive
Hours: Monday, Wednesday & Friday only
10 a.m. to 2 p.m

MLK Business Office, Washington, D.C.
2804 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE
Hours: Monday – Friday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Forestville, MD
8300 Marlboro Pike
Hours: Monday, Wednesday & Friday only
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

We Can Help with Winter Energy Bills

WinterBillsWinter is just around the corner. A drop in temperature typically means you’ll be turning up your heat which can lead to higher energy bills. We understand that higher energy bills can be a major concern. If you have difficulty paying your heating bills this winter, we’re here to help.

The first thing to do is call Customer Care at 202-833-7500 before your bill becomes unmanageable. We can recommend payment arrangements where appropriate and can discuss alternative payment plans such as our Budget Billing program that can help you avoid seasonal cost spikes and keep monthly bills level.

Our Extended Payment Date Plan is for customers whose main source of income is from government programs. Since assistance does not arrive until the first of each month, qualified customers whose bill due date is before the 5th of the month may be granted an extension of their due date.

Under the Deferred Payment Arrangement Plan customers experiencing a temporary financial hardship may be eligible to make installment payments on their current bill and a portion of any unpaid balance.

Felecia Greer
Customer Advocate

Progress

ImageI have news to report regarding Pepco’s efforts to communicate with customers when the lights go out.  I recently had the opportunity to listen to the Pepco executives at the Maryland Public Service Commission’s Hearing on the Derecho 2012 storm. I will share with you some of the highlights, but if you’d like to read all the details, you can find the report at www.psc.state.md.us (Case Number 9298).

Pepco officials heard loud and clear how frustrated customers were during the last big storm when people were without power for extended periods of time. In response, Pepco seems to be making progress on improving its communications with customers when the lights go out. The Company, for example, is working on its policies around providing customers with a more precise “Estimated Time of Restoration.”  Here’s the rub – a global ETR is usually when the vast majority of customers are restored.  However, many customers will be restored before the global ETR date.  It’s not especially helpful to hear that the last customer will be restored in five, six or seven days – when for you it could be in one day. Pepco officials said they now plan to tell customers at the beginning of the work day if the power will be back on that day. In my opinion, that is much more helpful information that will at least let customers know what to expect.

Pepco is also making efforts toward communicating more effectively internally so it can deliver all the necessary repair materials needed to complete a job more effectively.  This means that once a crew arrives on the scene, it will be able to tackle any problem, whether it’s downed wires, trees or poles.

On the issue of restoring power to critical care facilities, Pepco officials intend to work with local emergency management agencies to better identify critical care facilities so they can respond more efficiently. And they’ve agreed to provide these EMAs with customer outage information to better ensure public safety.

The Vice President of Pepco’s Call Center has directed that the Call Center scripts be revised and his team  investigate technology to allow customers to decide when they get call backs – almost like a hotel wake-up call.  I like the idea of customers having more control!

Another improvement is that a Storm Center is being created on the Pepco website for use when major storms strike.  Customers can check the Storm Center for information about the storm, its impact on the Pepco electrical system, and expectations regarding power restoration. It would be a one-stop shop for many customers who can access the internet on their battery-powered smart devices during an outage.

While there is much more that Pepco can do to ensure customers have the information they need to plan their lives when they are without power, I believe change and progress are in the air.

As Customer Advocate, my job is to communicate your concerns and ideas to the Company. If you would like your voice to be heard, contact me at customeradvocate@pepco.com.

Felecia Greer
Customer Advocate