Beware of a New Phone Scam

We remind customers to practice safety when someone claiming to represent the utility company contacts them either in person or by telephone. Scammers are telling customers that Pepco no longer serves their area and that they must provide personal information to open a new account. We are aware of these types of scams and it’s not unique to us. Nationally it’s been an issue, affecting utilities.

We ask all our customers to keep an eye out for scammers posing as third-party energy suppliers. In the past, scammers have attempted to target customers through fake utility bills, “official” emails that contain viruses or malware, and by pretending to be Pepco representatives and requesting monetary payment over the phone or in person. Since we often contact our customers through these same channels, it is important that you verify the identity and affiliation of anyone who calls or shows up at your door claiming to be a representative.

Similarly, make sure to only pay your utility bill through the mail, at one of our walk-in centers, online or through our mobile app. If you have any doubts about the validity of a person’s claim to represent one of our companies, contact us by phone immediately. We care about our customers and are committed to helping our customers manage their accounts. Customers can call our customer care line at 202-833-7500 for additional information.

Our customers are able to shop among certified competitive electric providers. Whether you choose to stay with Pepco as your electric supplier, or choose another supplier, we will continue to provide safe and reliable electric distribution service. For more information on customer choice please visit Pepco’s website at www.pepco.com.

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Continuing to Improve Reliability

Copy of _DSC0019a_ReliabilityOur customers are continuing to see fewer and shorter outages, thanks to the reliability work we’re doing. From 2011 to 2012, outages on feeders that Pepco worked on as part of our Reliability Enhancement Plan decreased by 39 percent and those outages that did occur were 42 percent shorter.

Between September 2010 and January 2013, we:

  • Trimmed more than 4,850 miles of trees along power lines in Maryland and about 850 miles in the District of Columbia. We plan to trim another 1,225 miles in Maryland and the District between now and the end of the year.
  • Renewed or replaced more than 650 miles of neighborhood underground electric cable in Maryland and 58 miles in the District, with plans to do the same for another 200 miles between now and the end of the year.
  • Improved the service of feeder lines that bring power into neighborhoods with the poorest reliability by upgrading more than 115 distribution feeders in Maryland, 66 feeders in the District of Columbia. We plan to complete work on about 100 more this year in the region.

Since we began our reliability work in September 2010, we also have:

  • Doubled the number of Customer Care representatives who take calls and more than doubled the number of phone lines.
  • Made arrangements to use outside customer service help during major outages.
  • Retrained all Customer Care representatives and additional help.

We are upgrading our system to make sure we can provide safe and reliable service for our customers day to day and during storms, and our work continues.

Preparing for winter storms

ImageWinter storms can bring high winds, snow, sleet, ice and even a combination of precipitation. Heavy snow and ice can cause outages by bringing trees and branches down on power lines, while ice and sleet create slick road conditions that can cause vehicle accidents that damage poles and other electrical equipment.

We closely monitor the weather and mobilize work crews before a storm hits to ensure that we respond as quickly and safely as possible should storm damage occur. Safety is our top priority, and we encourage you to review these tips and precautions to prepare for the worst of winter weather.

Before a Storm Strikes

  • Develop and practice an emergency plan with everyone in your household.
  • Assemble an emergency storm kit containing bottled water, non-perishable foods, blankets, flashlights and fresh batteries, first-aid kit and prescription medications, special medical or infant supplies, tools and other essential items.
  • Purchase a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector for your home if you plan to use an alternative source of heat.
  • Fill your bathtub with water if your water supply depends on electricity.
  • Make sure cell phones are charged.
  •  Protect and unplug electronic equipment.
  • Ensure your contact information is up to date with Pepco (have your account number available, call 202-835-1007 and say “update phone number”).
  •  Download the Pepco Self-Service app  on your mobile device so you can access outage maps, get restoration estimates, report outages and call us through a direct dial link should the power go out.

If Power Goes Out

  • If possible, gather in a central room that has an alternative source of heat such as a fireplace or wood stove.
  • Keep freezer and refrigerator doors shut.
  •  Open window shades to let the sun warm rooms during the day; close the shades at night to keep warmth in.
  • Dress in loose layers for warmth and flexibility.
  • If the indoor temperature drops to 55 degrees Fahrenheit or below, open your faucets slightly so they constantly drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • When conditions are safe, check on elderly or home-bound neighbors.

Heating Without Power

  • If using a portable generator during a power outage, always operate it outside, away from doors and windows to prevent deadly carbon monoxide fumes from entering the home.
  • Don’t use a gas range for heating a room or use charcoal to heat or cook indoors.
  • Keep children and pets away from any open flames.
  •  Use a carbon monoxide detector to keep you and your family safe. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless.

Snow Safety

When snow piles up, it’s important to keep areas outside your home clear.

  • Clear snow from access areas to your home and make sure to clear snow accumulation from appliance vents and heat pumps outside your home to ensure they can operate safely.
  • Remember to take breaks while clearing snow and avoid over exerting yourself.

Please remember to report outages and downed wires by calling 1-877-737-2662, using the mobile app or by visiting Pepco.com. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get tips on preparing for emergencies and updates on our restoration efforts.