• Frequently Asked Questions

  • District of Columbia

  • Pepco delivers electricity but does not generate it. District of Columbia law requires Pepco to use a competitive bidding process each year to buy electricity for customers who do not choose an alternative electricity supplier. Customers are charged for this service – called Standard Offer Service (SOS) – under rates approved by the District of Columbia Public Service Commission (DC PSC).

    Competitive bidding occurs each year over a 3-month period. Pepco purchases the electricity it needs for its SOS customers from unregulated wholesale suppliers, who own power plants and produce electricity or who buy and sell it on the wholesale market. Contracts are awarded based on lowest price.

    New SOS rates are effective for the Summer on June 1 and for Winter on October 1. Each year Pepco offers about 33 percent of the total residential SOS peak load for bids. The bids are for three-year contracts. The bidding combination of load and contract term has been approved by the DC PSC. This approach has a dampening effect on price swings.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is Standard Offer Service?

    Pepco customers who do not choose an electric supplier will receive Standard Offer Service (SOS). This means Pepco both delivers and purchases electricity for supply to its SOS customers.

    How does Pepco purchase supplies for its SOS customers?

    Pepco follows a DC PSC-approved competitive bid process -- i.e., each year Pepco offers about 33 percent of the total residential SOS peak load for bids. The bids are for three-year contracts. This approach has a dampening effect on price swings.
     

    What are the SOS rates?

    The rates can be found in our Current Tariff.

    How often do customer SOS rates change?

    Each year new SOS rates are effective for the Summer on June 1 and for Winter on October 1.


    What power plant is my electricity coming from?

    Typically, multiple suppliers will serve SOS load in the District of Columbia. The suppliers buy and trade the energy in the PJM marketplace so tracking its origin is difficult. The bid process simply ensures that we’ll get the needed reliable and competitive supply of electricity for delivery to our customers.


    How do I choose a supplier other than Pepco?

    First, you need to find out if there is an alternative retail electric supplier available to you. You can do this by calling the D.C. Public Service Commission, (202) 626-5100 or visit the Commission’s Web site, www.dcpsc.org. If you are considering a competitive supplier, you should know your Price to Compare, which is the average cost per kilowatt-hour for generation and transmission service, based on your rate classification. The Price to Compare is a tool for you to use in comparing Pepco’s SOS rates with offers from competing electricity suppliers.

    Pepco provides each customer with an individual Price to Compare on the monthly electric bill.