Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

For Immediate Release


Sean Matthews

202-872-2680 (media hotline)

Pepco Customers Experience Most Reliable Service Ever in 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 9, 2021) – Pepco customers across Washington D.C. and Maryland experienced the lowest frequency of electric outages ever in 2020, a result of Pepco's ongoing efforts to modernize the local energy grid and support customers and communities through the pandemic. Over the past ten years, energy system upgrades and new innovative technologies have reduced the frequency of electric outages by 68 percent for Pepco customers and communities. Customers experienced less than one outage, on average, over the course of the year and even when service was interrupted, crews were able to safely restore service in just 87 minutes, on average, in 2020. 

"We are committed to providing the best possible service for our customers," said Tyler Anthony, senior vice president & COO of Pepco Holdings. "Achieving record reliability in 2020 is a testament to the ongoing hard work and dedication of our employees to meet this commitment during an especially challenging year when our customers needed us most. With more adults working from home and children learning virtually, we are focused on continuing to provide the reliable energy service they depend on and powering our communities through this pandemic."

Each day, work is performed across Pepco's operating region as part of the company's ongoing efforts to further improve reliability for customers. This work includes inspecting existing infrastructure, trimming trees that could potentially impact the system, building new substations and new underground equipment, and strengthening transmission and distribution lines. The company also is installing innovative technologies to improve system reliability, such as specialized equipment that can automatically restore service more quickly or isolate damage. These new technologies have been a main driver behind the continued reduction in the frequency of outages customers experience.

Several major projects across the Pepco service area to help modernize the local energy grid and enhance reliability for customers include:

  • Capital Grid – The Capital Grid project is a 10-year strategy to strengthen the resiliency and reliability of the District's energy grid by modernizing aging infrastructure while creating a smarter energy system. The upgraded grid will support the city's continued growth, accommodate more customer-generated power and have built-in technologies that help the District meet its clean energy goals. In 2020, Pepco began construction on the Takoma and Harvard substations.
  • DC PLUG – The District of Columbia Power Line Undergrounding (DC PLUG) initiative is a multi-year program focused on the underground placement of the most vulnerable distribution power lines. The DC PLUG initiative targeted improved resiliency and reliability in the face of increasingly severe storms. Pepco energized the first completed feeder, located in Ward 3, in 2020.
  • Benning Area Reliability Plan – The Benning Area Reliability Plan is a coordinated effort to improve the reliability of service in the community by upgrading equipment such as utility poles and overhead lines and adding new technology to the system. Pepco also added new feeders to the system, which will increase capacity to meet the area's growing demand for electricity.
  • Takoma to Sligo Project– The Takoma to Sligo Project began in 2018 to install three new 69 kilovolt underground lines between the Takoma and Sligo substations to increase capacity of the Sligo substation. This project also upgrades and installs new equipment at each substation to further enhance reliability for customers.  
  • Sligo to Linden Project – The Sligo to Linden Project will install three new 69 kilovolt underground lines between the Sligo and Linden substations to increase area reliability.
  • White Flint Substation – This new substation began construction in March 2020 and will meet the growing energy needs of customers in the area.
  • Steel Pole Installation – Pepco has been replacing wooden transmission poles with stronger steel poles along Central Avenue, between Campus Way, Watkins Park Drive and Shady Glen Drive in Prince George's County. New steel poles also are being installed along approximately 2.25 miles of public space and existing Pepco right-of-way in Gaithersburg and Montgomery Village in Montgomery County. These new steel poles help make the local energy grid stronger and more resilient. Steel poles offer significant improvements in reliability, longevity, and durability when compared to wood poles, and require less maintenance over time.

Pepco also continues to share best practices for managing the local energy grid and responding to outages with its Exelon sister companies, Atlantic City Electric in southern New Jersey, BGE in Baltimore, ComEd in Chicago, Delmarva Power in Delaware, and PECO in Philadelphia.

To learn more about Pepco, visit The Source, our online newsroom. Find additional information by visiting, on Facebook at and on Twitter at Pepco's mobile app is available at   

© Potomac Electric Power Company, 2023. All Rights Reserved.