2012 Corporate Social Responsibility Report Highlights

2012_CSR Cover PhotoWe’re dedicated to providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity to our customers, but our job goes well beyond providing power. We have a strong history of philanthropy and civic engagement in the District of Columbia and Maryland.  In the end, we are residents, too, and we benefit along with the larger community when we make the effort to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Our annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report gives us an opportunity to share with you the many activities and charitable giving campaigns that have taken place over the year. In 2012, we supported a wide variety of cultural, educational, environmental, health and business initiatives dedicated to improving the quality of life for all citizens. Our employees led the way by contributing more than 3,000 hours of volunteerism throughout our service territory, and we couldn’t be more proud of their efforts to engage with and advance the communities we serve. At the same time, nearly 350 local and regional organizations received corporate contributions from Pepco and our parent company, PHI, totaling more than $3 million.

If you have followed our reliability enhancement activities, you’ve often heard me say in commercials that our work continues. So, too, will our commitment to serving our customers through corporate social responsibility and philanthropy. I hope you enjoy reading our 2012 CSR Report and that you continue to partner with us to support the communities we serve.

Sincerely,

Thomas H. Graham
President
Pepco Region

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Accelerating Improvements in Resiliency and Reliability for Maryland Customers

There has been some confusion about the grid resiliency charge and why we included it in our Maryland rate case filing. I wanted to use our blog to explain why we think the grid resiliency charge is a good thing for both the company and our customers.

Improving ReliabilityWe began working more than two years ago on the biggest reliability effort in our 117-year history, and we are reducing the number and length of outages. We are committed to improving reliability and the customer experience, and that work will continue.

Our proposal for accelerating some of that work stems from a report issued by the Grid Resiliency Task Force. With an increase in frequency and intensity of storms, Governor O’Malley convened this task force in July 2012 to address resiliency and reliability of the Maryland electric distribution system. This task force held eight roundtable discussions featuring community leaders, policy experts and industry stakeholders from across the country. In September, it released a report that recommended accelerating reliability investment and raising reliability standards.

In response to that task force report, we put together a plan that would accelerate improvements in resiliency and reliability for customers. We propose to:

  • Underground six distribution feeders (three in Montgomery County and three in Prince George’s County), reducing the frequency and duration of outages for customers
  • Accelerate our four-year tree-trimming cycle (approximately 1,000 miles each year) to complete the cycle in three years, which would reduce power outages caused by tree branches falling onto power lines
  • Upgrade 12 additional feeders per year for two years
  • Raise the reliability performance beyond the level required by Maryland’s Service Quality and Reliability Standards

The Grid Resiliency Task Force also recommended that the Public Service Commission authorize timely recovery for the accelerated investments and expenses. We proposed to do that through a grid resiliency charge. If approved, customers would see a small increase in their bills. Starting in January 2014, a typical residential customer’s bill would increase about $0.96 per month. In 2015 the surcharge would increase from $0.96 to $1.70 per month, and in 2016 it would increase to $1.93 per month. We want to make significant improvements in resiliency and reliability while keeping the additional charge to customers under $2 per month.

Because reliability work would be accelerated, we think it’s fair to raise the reliability standards that we must meet. If we don’t meet the new accelerated reliability standards by 2015, we will refund customers up to $1 million. If we do meet the new reliability standards, we may receive up to a $1 million incentive.

As I noted earlier, the work we have been doing to improve reliability is paying off. From 2011 to 2012, outages on feeders that we worked on decreased by 39 percent and those outages that did occur were 42 percent shorter. We expect to meet the reliability standards that are currently in place without performing the proposed grid resiliency projects. However, by doing the work proposed as part of the grid resiliency charge, customers will experience a more resilient and reliable electric system in a much shorter time period. I welcome you to post questions in the comment section below.

Tom Graham
President, Pepco Region

Linemen Receive Prince George’s County Fire Chief’s Award

Pepco line mechanics, Donny Pfeifer, Sean Cecil, and Ryan Callahan, received Prince George’s County Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department Fire Chief’s Awards for their actions at the scene of an Upper Marlboro house fire last October.

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Employees were presented Prince George’s County Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department Fire Chief’s Awards.

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Pepco donates smoke alarms to Prince George’s County Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

Pfeifer, Cecil, and Callahan, were preparing electric service for a home being renovated in Upper Marlboro, Md. when they noticed flames and smoke coming from the house. Following their safety procedures and assuming their emergency roles, Callahan and Pfeifer grabbed fire extinguishers off their truck and went into the smoke-filled house to put out the fire that had started in the kitchen. Fire officials credited their quick actions for saving the life of a toddler sleeping in the home.

Pepco donated 700 smoke alarms and 30 smoke alarms for the hearing impaired to the Fire/EMS Department.

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.

Learn About Pepco’s Energy Wise Rewards Program

Learn About Energy Wise RewardsPepco’s Energy Wise Rewards program is a new, voluntary program that helps decrease electricity consumption during peak energy use periods and saves you money. This program has been successful in Maryland and is now available to residents in the District of Columbia.

By allowing Pepco to remotely cycle off the compressor on your home’s central air conditioning and heat pump during specific peak-usage time periods, electricity consumption is reduced. In exchange, participating customers are rewarded financially with incentive payments off their Pepco bill. You save energy and money. It also reduces the strain on the electric grid during times of peak usage, such as heat waves.

Pepco contractors will be in your neighborhood visiting customers door-to-door providing more information on the program. Contractors wear Pepco Energy Wise Rewards insignias on their shirt and provide identification to customers so that they are easily recognizable to the public. In addition, our representatives will offer their business cards upon request.

We understand that there may be various vendors canvassing your community. However, Pepco Energy Wise Rewards Contractors will never ask you to provide them with a copy of your Pepco bill.

Your safety is very important to us!

If for any reason there is question or concern with anyone at your door, please ask them to show you their identification.

For more information, please visit pepco.com/rewards or call 1-866-353-5798.

Maryland customers: Save money this weekend by combining Maryland’s Tax-Free Weekend with Pepco Rebates to Save on New ENERGY STAR® Appliances

During Maryland’s Tax Free Weekend, February 16-18, residential customers in Maryland have a unique opportunity to save energy and money by purchasing ENERGY STARImage appliances.

This weekend, customers will not have to pay Maryland’s 6 percent sales tax when they purchase select ENERGY STAR certified products such as standard size refrigerators, clothes washers, room air conditioners, dehumidifiers, heat pumps, and compact fluorescent light bulbs. To save even more, we encourage Maryland residential customers to combine these tax savings with Presidents Day sales and Pepco rebates on select energy efficient appliances.

Participating in Pepco’s Appliance Rebate Program is easy: simply purchase ENERGY STAR appliances at any retailer, and then print and submit one of the relevant rebate applications below for each qualified appliance.

Save $50–$100 on ENERGY STAR Certified Clothes Washers

Save $25 on ENERGY STAR Certified Dehumidifiers

Save $350 on ENERGY STAR Certified Electric Heat Pump Water Heaters

Save $25 on Energy-Efficient Electric Water Heaters

Save $75 on ENERGY STAR Certified Freezers

Save $100–$150 on ENERGY STAR Certified Refrigerators

Save $25 on ENERGY STAR Certified Room Air Conditioners

The Appliance Rebate Program is part of Pepco’s portfolio of energy efficiency programs that are designed to support Governor Martin O’Malley’s EmPOWER Maryland initiative to reduce energy consumption in the state by 15 percent by the year 2015.

Low Income Energy Summit Update

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Pepco recently hosted more than 180 social service agency representatives from Delaware and Maryland for its annual Low Income Energy Summit in Dover, Delaware.

The Summit gave service providers valuable information to better assist low- to moderate-income utility customers, many of whom have difficulty paying their energy bills.

U.S. Senator Christopher Coons of Delaware provided opening remarks and welcomed the participants to Dover. Maryland Public Service Commission Chairman Douglas Nazarian, Delaware Public Service Commission Ombudsman Matthew Hartigan and District of Columbia Public Service Commission Member Linda Jordan participated in a very informative regulatory panel.

Closing the day in Dover was Kenneth Parker, Sr. Vice President, Government Affairs & Corporate Citizenship, who told his personal story of growing up in a household that relied heavily on community support and the outreach of social service providers. “I know what you do. I benefited from what you do. You invest in people like me, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Ken said.

It is important for us to take the time out to assemble our community and agency partners under one roof to educate them on Pepco programs and services. Summit discussions included several exhibitors and plenary sessions on emergency preparedness, storm response, social media and diversity.

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

Felecia Greer
Customer Advocate