• Frequently Asked Questions

  • Smart Meters

  • What is a smart meter?

    A smart meter is a digital meter that offers a number of benefits to customers. These benefits provide you with more detailed information about your energy use as well as improved outage restoration and customer service. Smart meters also offer a platform for us to provide you with future energy and cost saving programs and energy management applications.

    Why am I getting a smart meter?

    We are working closely with the Maryland Public Service Commission to help meet energy-reduction goals. Smart meters were an important step in creating a more energy efficient future for Maryland and offer a number of important benefits. Some of those benefits include:

    Greater control of your energy data

    • Smart meters enable you to view your home electricity use in easy-to-read graphs. Armed with a better understanding of your energy use, you can make more informed decisions on how to manage and control your energy consumption.
    • Smart meters help ensure that your energy bill is based on your actual, rather than estimated energy use.
    • Smart meters reduce the need for our meter readers to come to your home. New features will enable wireless meter reading.

    Opportunities to save money

    • With access to detailed data, smart meters give you the power to review and evaluate your energy use and take control of the things you can change.

    Outage detection

    • Smart meters provide remote outage detection and help us restore your power faster.

    Improved customer service

    • Our representatives are equipped to better answer your questions about your personal energy use, should you ever need to contact us for assistance.

    Environmental benefits

    • Remote meter reading reduces the number of our vehicles and trucks on the roads, which in turn helps reduce carbon emissions.
    • Smart meters are the key to greater energy efficiency, reducing the need to build power plants and decreasing the use of older, less efficient power plants that typically have higher greenhouse gas and other air emissions.

    When will I get my smart meter?

    We are installing new smart meters for all of our Maryland customers through August 2014.

    Will I receive any notice before the meter is exchanged?

    A letter, along with a fact sheet, will be mailed to you approximately one to four weeks before the planned meter exchange. On the day of the installation, one of our contractors from Scope Services will knock on your door to let you know that they are performing the meter switch. If you are not home, the contractor will leave a door hanger either announcing that the meter has successfully been changed or requesting that you contact Scope Services to schedule an appointment to change the meter.

    Will I lose power during the meter exchange?

    The meter exchange may result in a brief interruption of electric service, usually less than a minute. You may need to reset your clocks and other electronic equipment after the exchange.

    Important Note: If you rely on electricity to power emergency or life-support equipment and have registered in our Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program, our installers will knock on your door before they begin the installation to make sure it is OK to interrupt your service for a brief period. If you are not home or cannot take a brief power interruption, we will leave a door hanger instructing you to call to set up an appointment.

    To register someone for the Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program, you and your physician must complete the required information on the MD certification form and mail or fax it to Pepco. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept these forms via email. The fax number for submitting your completed form is 800-461-9737, or you may mail it to:

    Pepco Customer Credit Department

    701 Ninth Street, N.W.

    Washington, D.C. 20068-0001

    Is my energy use information secure?

    We place the utmost importance on the security and protection of all aspects of our electric and gas systems and associated sub-systems. In keeping with corporate policy, our smart grid systems and components will guard against cyber and physical attacks. We require that our equipment support Advanced Encryption Standards as defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

    As our smart grid is deployed, these security guiding principles will be implemented and applied as recommend by the manufacturer and according to industry best practices. For example, we will use firewalls, VLANs (virtual local area networks), encryption, and other methods as defined in technology standards to defend, deter, detect and minimize security threats.

    For more information about smart meter security, visit our Privacy and Safety page.

    Are smart meters safe?

    Our smart grid provider, Silver Spring Networks, uses 900 megahertz (MHz) and 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) radios in its smart grid hardware devices – the same FCC-approved frequencies that have been used for many years in devices such as baby monitors, cell phones, remote-controlled toys and medical monitors.

    Silver Spring RF emissions are compliant with the levels required by strict federal regulations and permitted by various international recommendations and as such should not cause any interference with wireless routers or cordless telephones. For more information, please refer to our RF Fact sheet.

    Scientific research has been conducted on radio-frequency (RF) fields and health for several decades. Recent research has focused on RF at cellular phone frequencies. This body of research has been reviewed by many public health and regulatory agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

    None of the leading health organizations, including the FDA, FCC, WHO and NCI, have found that RF signals from smart meters cause or contribute to any adverse health effects.

    For example, a recent review by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that while some studies suggest a possible relationship to cancer based on prolonged use of cell phones, RF exposures from cell phones cannot be considered an actual cause of cancer or even a probable cause. IARC also found inadequate scientific evidence of any cancer risk due to RF fields from environmental sources, such as cell phone towers and wireless networks. WHO has further emphasized that “no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.” For detailed information provided by these organizations, visit their websites at:

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    Federal Communications Commission
    World Health Organization
    National Cancer Institute

    For more information about smart meter safety, visit our Privacy and Safety page.

    What if I generate my own electricity?

    Net metering enables those of you with solar panels or other forms of renewable generation to benefit from the lower energy costs smart meters bring. That’s because any excess kilowatts the customer generates are subtracted from the number of kilowatts they did use when the monthly bill is calculated.

    Please note that it is important to notify us if you are planning to install solar panels or other forms of renewable generation. That’s because the current applicable tariff requires such customers to have a registered “net-metered” account. In addition, your meter needs to be specially programmed to accommodate net metering. Please call our Green Power Connection Team at 202-872-3419 if you have not submitted your application and to obtain additional information.

    I have solar panels installed at my home. Sometimes I cannot access My Account or see my energy use data via My Account. Why is that?

    Net metering customers such as those with photovoltaic systems that are interconnected with our grid are at the forefront of a wave of change in the energy industry. The separate electric generating systems at their premises are not yet fully compatible with the My Account online energy analysis tools. Currently, the software prevents the display of self-generated energy-use data, and some net metering customers may be unable to enroll in My Account. These changes will be available at a later date.