We’re currently upgrading our customer information system. During this time, some of our self-service features may be unavailable or have limited functionality. Here’s some information regarding services that are affected.
Our mobile app will still be available to report outages and view outage maps; however, there may be a few hours throughout this period during which these features will become unavailable. During that time, please call customer service at 202-833-7500 if you need to report an outage.
Additionally, you’ll still be able to pay your bill through the mobile app. Please note, your account balance may not be updated in the app until our full transition is complete on or around January 5, 2015.
My Account will have limited functionality during our transition and your most recent energy use information will not be available.
You’ll still have access to the following self-service features on My Account:
View past energy use information
View and pay your bill
Reset your password
Customers who are not currently signed up for My Account will be unable to do so until after our transition is completed.
Customer Service Call-In
Some self-service features normally available through our customer service number are also unavailable. You can still call us to report an emergency situation or outage, and to make a payment. Additionally, customer service representatives will be available to assist you stop, start or transfer service, investigate billing issues and discuss third party supplier information. To speak with a representative about your account, please call during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
We appreciate your patience during this transition. For more information about this upgrade, visit pepco.com/accountfaq.
We want to remind our customers of payment programs for those who may be experiencing financial conditions that make it difficult to keep their accounts current during these cold weather stretches and higher usage periods. Many of these arrangements can be made directly over the phone by calling (202) 833-7500 and following the simple instructions or through a customer service representative. Either way, we are more than glad to provide help through difficult periods throughout the year.
Special Payment Arrangements: we have a variety of individually tailored payment arrangements available for customers aimed at bringing their account up to date over a mutually agreeable period of time. Call (202) 833-7500 and follow the simple instructions or speak with a customer service representative.
Budget Billing: Customers can avoid seasonal peaks in electric bills by dividing their payments evenly over the course of the entire year. This plan makes it easier to budget and pay electric bills each month, because customers know their regular payment amount.
To sign up for budget billing, customers can register either by calling customer service at (202) 833-7500 or online through “My Account,” a secure self-service option that will allow customers to:
View and pay their bills
Sign up for eBill (paperless billing)
Get e-mail notification when bills are ready
Take advantage of features that can help save energy
Once customers register for My Account, they just need to log in and click on the “Budget Billing” button.
Extended Payment Date Plan: This allows residential customers whose main source of total household income is from government or other low-income entitlement programs to request a regular extension of their bill due dates without incurring a late charge so their bill due dates align with the dates they get their checks. To apply, call us at (202) 833-7500 or submit the enrollment form online at pepco.com.
Energy Assistance Programs: Some federal energy assistance may be available through state and local assistance programs. Customers can get more information on those programs by calling us at (202) 833-7500.
To save energy and money, customers can call Customer Service or visit our website at pepco.com/energy/conservation/ to learn more about programs to help pay for more energy-efficient products, simple steps to conserve energy usage and how to monitor energy consumption.
The DC Public Library and Pepco are working together this summer to present the new Introduction to Energy Management class. In this class you’ll:
Get tips to help you save money and energy
Design a custom energy management plan for your home
Learn how to use tools on My Account at pepco.com
Receive a complimentary, reusable gift bag with tools to help you save
This 60 minute course, developed by The George Washington University and Pepco, is designed to help you understand how you can manage and reduce your energy use to save money.
Introduction to Energy Management will cover several topics that provide you with useful information, tips and tools about Pepco’s energy saving programs and online energy management tools available through My Account. This dashboard features charts and graphs to help you better understand your energy use information.
You’ll walk away with your own energy management plan to help you take better control of your energy use at home.
Classes are being offered at the following DC Public Library locations:
Knowing which devices are using the most energy in your home can help you save energy and money.
Here are three of the top energy users in your home:
Did you know that the heating system in your home typically represents 30% of your total energy usage? If your heating system is less than 20 years old, it should still have some life left in it. You can expect as many as 20 to 25 years of service from properly installed and maintained heating equipment. To help make this long service life a reality, it is a good idea to have your heating system inspected and adjusted on an annual basis. If your system is over 10 years old, then you should place it on an annual maintenance program. Good preventive maintenance will ensure that your system runs safely and efficiently for many years.
Air Conditioning Units (Central Unit and Room/Window Air Conditioners)
Air conditioning systems can last for 15 years or more. If your system doesn’t seem to be working as well as it used to, you should have a service person look at it to determine the likely cause of the problem. If there is a significant problem, simply comparing the price to repair the system with the cost of replacement will give you a good idea of what you should do. If your system is already over 10 years old, you may want to consider a new unit. Especially if you have a large home with a high cooling load, the annual savings from installing a new system may pay for itself in a short time. Lowering your thermostat to 68°F during the winter and 78°F in the summer can also help reduce your monthly energy bill. Be sure to keep your air conditioning unit well-tuned with periodic maintenance.
Water Heating System (Bathrooms, Clothes Washers and Dishwashers)
After heating and cooling, water heating is typically the next largest consumer of energy in the United States. In general, factors impacting water heater energy consumption can be separated into two categories – factors affecting the amount of hot water used and those affecting the efficiency of the water heating system. Factors impacting water usage are the use of water for bathing, showering, shaving, and other purposes as well as the use of clothes washers and dishwashers. Showering habits normally have the largest impact on water heating energy consumption. If your water heater is more than seven years old, you should consider purchasing one that is energy-efficient and most appropriately meets your needs.
Want more information about your own home’s energy usage? You can monitor and control your home energy usage through My Account. Also check out our Energy Savings Programs to learn more about conserving energy in your home.
As the temperature rises during the summer months, so does the demand for electricity. Because of this, we’re offering customers in Maryland 2 Ways to Save energy and money this summer.
Peak Energy Savings Credit
The Peak Energy Savings Credit (PESC) lets you earn a credit off your bill when you reduce your electricity use on specially designated Peak Savings Days, when demand for electricity is at its highest. You will receive a credit of $1.25 off your bill for every kilowatt hour (kWh) you reduce your energy below your baseline.
Saving energy on Peak Savings Days can be as simple as turning off lights, waiting to run your clothes dryer until later or setting the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees higher. If you have a central air conditioner, you can also participate in Energy Wise Rewards to automatically reduce the energy use and receive guaranteed credits off your bill.
Here’s how it works:
No enrollment is needed. When a Peak Savings Day is announced, you’ll automatically receive a phone call the night before giving you the hours for reducing your energy use. You can also choose to be notified by text or email and set your personal notification preferences on My Account. You can decide if you want to reduce your energy use on a particular Peak Savings Day.
Reduce your energy use below your baseline on Peak Savings Days to earn a credit off your bill. The less energy you use on Peak Savings Days, the more money you can save.
The voluntary Energy Wise Rewards program from Pepco makes it easy to automatically reduce your central air conditioner energy use during Peak Energy Savings Days. By signing up for Energy Wise Rewards, you will receive your choice of a web-programmable thermostat or an outdoor switch, provided and installed at no charge, and a one-time installation credit of $40-80, depending on the cycling level you choose. Then, during summer months (June through October) you will receive up to $80 in Annual Reward Credits off your bill.
During the specified time period on Peak Savings Days, we’ll automatically cycle off and on your central air conditioner or heat pump to help manage energy use. Your fan continues to circulate already cooled air through the home.
Here’s how it works:
Sign up for Energy Wise Rewards by calling 1-866-353-5798 or visit pepco.com/rewards.
Select your cycling level – 50%, 75% or 100%. Most people start with 50% cycling, meaning that the A/C compressor will run half the time it did during the prior hour.
Choose your device – the web-programmable thermostat or outdoor switch and receive a one-time installation Credit of $40-$80 off your bill.
With winter weather here, some customers may be experiencing high energy bills. That’s because colder temperatures cause heating systems to work harder and use more energy.
For those customers who have a heat pump, that unit’s resistance heater switches on when temperatures dip below about 32 degrees. When that happens, efficiency declines and costs increase.
At Pepco, we understand that high winter bills can be a concern. If you’re having difficulty making a payment, call us at 202-833-7500 before your bill gets unmanageable.
We can discuss alternative payment plans such as our Budget Billing program that allows you to make a fixed monthly payment and avoid cost spikes. We also can direct you to government assistance programs that offer help to eligible customers based on income guidelines.
And don’t forget to visit pepco.com to sign up for My Account, our online tool that can offer ways to manage energy use.
Pepco is currently installing smart meters for all residential customers. Since 2009, we have completed over 98% of installations (263,000 meters) in the District of Columbia. In Maryland, where installations began in June 2011, we have completed 50% of installations (270,000 meters) and we will continue with the installation process through the end of 2012.
As a longtime supporter of building a smarter electric grid and one of the first Pepco customers to have received a new meter, I’m proud that Pepco is at the forefront of this advancement in power delivery. As we continue installing smart meters and begin rolling out new programs and benefits associated with the advanced technology, I would like to share with you a video from the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, which debunks some of the myths surrounding smart meters and highlights some of the benefits that you can look forward to in the future.
For more information about smart meters, you can visit http://www.pepco.com/energy/blueprint/. You can also sign up for My Account on our website to begin taking control of your energy use today.
Vice President, Business Transformation
The reason for this post is a conversation I had yesterday morning with a reporter for a local radio station. He called to tell me he spoke with a nearby utility representative who said customers should expect higher than usual bills in the upcoming months due to the unusually extreme heat. He quickly followed that up asking if Pepco is expecting the same thing to happen. The short and not so sweet answer is yes.
With that, I want to shed some light on what the contributing factors are and how to make the right changes to avoid spikes in energy bills. And if you use electricity to heat your home, the great thing about this post is that you can use this post for the winter as well.
2 main contributing factors in higher summer bills:
The first and most obvious contributor to the “equation” of a higher than normal energy bill this summer is that it has been one of the hottest and most humid summers the Washington, DC metropolitan area has experienced in a long time
The second and not so obvious contributor is customers leaving their thermostat at their desired temperature. More times than not, customers are focused on comfort more than anything else and rightfully so.
Example: A customer desires their indoor home temperature to be 70°. If the outside temperature is 80° the A/C unit in their home will have to work to make up a 10° difference. If it’s 95° outside the A/C unit will have to work even harder and cycle on more often to make up a 25° difference.
Key Takeaway: the larger the difference between the outside temperature and the desired temperature in a home, the harder and longer an A/C unit will have to work. Because A/C units are heavy energy users (even the most efficient ones) the more they are in use, the more a customers electric bill will be.
10 changes that will avoid spikes in energy costs:
Sign up for My Account and find ways to save energy and money with an easy online home energy audit. My Account also allows customers to compare, analyze, and pay their bills.
Set your air conditioner’s thermostat at 78 degrees. After removing the humidity, this can be a comfortable temperature. Remember every degree up on the thermostat can save as much as 5 percent on your energy bill.
Change your air conditioner filter. A dirty filter causes the unit to run longer and inefficiently.
Close window shades, blinds, or drapes to block the sunlight during the hottest part of the day.
Move lamps, TVs, and other heat-producing items away from the air conditioner’s thermostat. Heat from these appliances could cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary. Turn these appliances off when they’re not being used.
Check that all windows and doors are tightly closed to keep the cool air in and the hot air out.
Use fans to keep the air moving.
When possible, cook and use other heat-generating appliances, such as washers, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or late evening when it usually is cooler. Wash clothes in cold water and line dry.
Use dishwashers only when fully loaded. Dishwashers use the same amount of electricity whether they’re full or empty. If you have an electric water heater, that is using electricity as well. Use the air-dry option if your unit has one.
Consider preparing light summer meals that don’t require a lot of cooking. If possible, use an outdoor grill or microwave oven for cooking.
P.S. I’m personally sensitive about my energy usage; financially and environmentally. So, I use a combination of energy savings tips. The one that has shown the biggest impact this summer for me is setting my thermostat at 85° and using ceiling fans throughout the house. That may be a bit extreme for some customers, but another combination may work for you.
Since my last blog post, “New Online Billing System,” I’ve noticed we still have some customers with issues logging in to “My Account” to view and pay their bills.
First, on behalf of Pepco, we appreciate your patience as we work through all of the issues. I can assure you that we’re continuously working on ALL of the complaints we’re getting. That said, we’ve been able to funnel everyone’s issues into three main sources; Password Reset, Hold Times, and Error Screen.
1. Password Reset
Customers who have signed up for “My Account,” but can’t remember their username and/or password need to reset it. All they need is the answer to one of the security questions to reset their username and/or password. If a customer can’t remember any of the answers to their security question or is locked out of the system they can call Customer Care at 202-833-7500 to remedy the issue.
2. Hold Times
Customers calling into Customer Care have been getting long hold times. We currently can’t control the number or calls we get, but we can provide call backs without customers losing their place in line. If interested in getting a call back, follow these simple steps:
Call 202-833-7500. After the recorded message finishes, there is a prompt asking what the purpose of the call is.
Say “Online Billing.” At that time, callers will be connected to the next available CSR. While being connected to the line to speak to a CSR, customers will hear the current hold time and be offered the option for a call back.
Press “1” for that option.
3. Error Screen
Currently, Firefox and Internet Explorer are the ONLY browsers compatible with the 3rd party vendor we use for “My Account.” Customers will continue to get error messages if they’re using browsers other than Firefox or Internet Explorer. We’re working diligently with our vendor to support other browsers.
If you are using Firefox or Internet Explorer is the browser in use and error messages are still popping up, follow these simple steps:
Close all of your open browses sessions and try again with a new browser session.
If you continue to experience problems, clear out internet history & cookies. Go to the menu bar and select Tools. In the drop down menu, choose Internet Options. A pop up box will appear on the screen and the option to clear out internet history and cookies will be there. Note: all browsers are configured differently and the path to this action may be different.
As I said in the last post “I hope this post was useful to you. If not, it may be useful to any Pepco customers you may know, so feel free to forward it on to them.”
It’s been a while since my last post, but I hope you agree this one couldn’t have come at a better time. It will clear up a few things about our new online billing system. Between hearing about customer issues via twitter and our Call Center, I figured this post could be helpful to some if not all of you.
In an effort to streamline our online customer tools/programs, we have consolidated them into one interactive online tool, “My Account.” Thus, On February 2, we transitioned from our old online bill payment tool, “eBill,” and added the bill payment option to “My Account.”
If you’re attempting to pay your bill online, it’s very simple. If you are already a registered “My Account” user, log into your account and click “View & Pay Bill” on the left navigation menu. If you are not a registered user, you will need to become one.
In order to register for “My Account” and pay your bill, you need to complete these 3 steps:
Get a copy of your last bill (paper or electronic). See FAQs for more information
Register for “My Account.” You will need some information from the bill; Account Number, Service Period To Date, and Bill Amount Due.
View and pay your bill. Log into “My Account,” and click “View & Pay Bill” on the left navigation menu.
If you’re a visual learner, here’s a video that will take you through each step to register. Once you register, you’re all set!
Here are the most frequently asked questions and their answers:
How can I access my old bill so that I can sign up for My Account? If you don’t receive paper bills, you will need to log into “eBill” (the old online billing system (DST)) to get a copy of your bill to either print or view. The link is available by clicking “Pay Your Bill Online” from the Pepco home page.
How were customers notified of this conversion to a new online billing system?
Pepco “eBill” users were notified in advance of the upcoming changes throughout the month of January on the Pepco home page, on DST, and by email.
Why was the old online billing system data not migrated to the new one? The old online billing system user IDs and passwords were not migrated to “My Account” to protect customer security. In many cases user IDs that were defined in the old system were already assigned in the new system and we cannot assume it is the same person. The new system security is similar to online banking systems. A migration of the old usernames would have circumvented this security. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you.
When I call Pepco customer service, why am I having such a long hold time? Pepco has been experiencing long hold times due to the cold weather and the large volume of customers who are signing up for the new “My Account” online billing system. As well, billing calls were suspended during the storm events in February, so those calls are coming back into the Call Center now. To minimize your inconvenience, we recommend that you ask for a call back when prompted by our automated system.
I hope this post was useful to you. If not, it may be useful to any Pepco customers you may know, so feel free to forward it on to them.