We Are Closely Monitoring an Approaching Winter Storm

We are closely monitoring an approaching winter storm. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the Washington Metropolitan Area from Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening. Weather forecasts are still changing, but some predict snow accumulations of more than a foot of snow through the Pepco region with up to 17 inches predicted in some locations in Montgomery County. We also expect wind gusts of up to 35 mph. A Winter Storm Watch means there is also a potential for significant sleet and/or ice. We are preparing for the worst of the forecasts.

Heavy, wet snow; ice; and high winds can bring tree limbs into contact with power lines to cause power outages. Heavy rain and oversaturated soil can allow trees already weakened by previous storms to fall onto power lines and equipment to cause power outages. Outages can also occur due to drivers skidding into utility poles along wet roads.

We will have extra line and tree crews available, and the Call Center will be staffed overnight. In addition to internal crews, we have more than 450 overhead line contractors already working on the system available if needed. Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI), parent company for Pepco, is also asking for more contractor support and has asked for 250 mutual assistance crews from other utilities. We also have almost 300 tree contractors already working on our system.

Customers are asked to please call in any outages and stay away from any down wires. To report outages and/or downed wires, please call 1-877-737-2662, follow the prompts, and please ask for a call back to confirm that power has been restored. Outages also may be reported on our website or through our mobile app.

Want a Free Tree? We’re Giving Away 3000!

Pepco is partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation to prove 3,000 free trees to Pepco customers in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The collaborative effort launches the Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees pilot that aims to helping conserve energy through strategic tree planting.

Pepco customers can reserve up to two free trees at www.arborday.org/pepco from today, September 26 until Saturday, November 12, 2011.  The trees will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, with 1,000 trees reserved for each of the territories we serve; Washington D.C., Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County.

In return for the free trees, customers agree to plant them in a recommended location on their property and care for them.  The planting location will be recommended based on its potential to create shade as the tree grows in height to reduce energy consumption.  To ensure that customers are planting the right trees in the most strategic location, the Energy-Saving Trees program uses an online tool where customers can map their houses, select a tree with energy-saving potential, learn the best energy-saving and safe locations to plant, and receive an estimate of the annual savings that may result when the tree grows.

Along with the estimated future energy savings, the online tool also provides estimates of other community benefits that trees provide, including air quality improvements, storm-water reduction, and carbon sequestration.

When a Pepco customer reserves trees, the two- to four-foot trees will be delivered directly to the customer for planting in the location identified online at the best time for planting this fall.  Customers should call 811 before they dig to avoid hitting underground utilities.  For more information on digging safely, log on to our service request webpage.

‘Til the next post,

Andre