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For Immediate Release

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Jamie Caswell

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Pepco Takes Action to Combat Climate Change and Build Resilience

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 19, 2020) – Pepco today announced a major climate change commitment, launching a multi-faceted, action-oriented effort to help the District of Columbia achieve its leading greenhouse gas and climate change goals. Collectively, and in support of the District's goals, Pepco will focus on actionable measures to reduce its greenhouse gas footprint, deliver innovative solutions that will empower customers to meet their climate change objectives, and drive collaborative efforts with stakeholder and community partners to achieve greater greenhouse gas reduction across the District, while preparing for a future impacted by climate change.

"Climate change is real and is having an impact on the District and its residents, today," said Dave Velazquez, president and CEO of Pepco Holdings. "We need to take action now to ensure a clean and healthy environment for the future. Utilities were built to do big things and working to tackle climate change equitably, effectively and expeditiously is among the biggest challenges we face. We know we can't do this alone, but we recognize the positive impact we can have in helping to be an important part of the change."

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser pledged to make the District carbon-neutral and climate resilient by 2050 and the Council of the District of Columbia passed the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018, which established clear milestones for achieving this objective, including a 100 percent renewable electricity standard and local solar goals, targets for electrifying transportation, and nation-leading building energy performance standards. Just yesterday, the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia opened a proceeding that will help determine the next steps for utilities to take to help the District meet its climate change and clean energy goals affordably and equitably. Also recently, the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment released Carbon Free DC, which establishes pathways to decarbonize the energy system in the District of Columbia, including through increased electrification.

As a first step, Pepco has committed to take action to shrink its own carbon footprint as quickly and efficiently as possible while ensuring resilience and assessing the readiness of our grid to support an electrified economy. Key Pepco commitments include:

  • Transitioning to 100 percent clean and renewable electricity use in our buildings by 2025.
  • Converting to energy efficient lighting at all Pepco office buildings and indoor and outdoor substation facilities within the District by 2025.
  • Completing an energy audit at our Edison Place Headquarters and Benning facilities to identify additional energy savings opportunities.
  • Electrifying 50 percent of the company's passenger vehicles and medium-duty fleet by 2030.
  • Installing additional workplace charging infrastructure.
  • Undertaking an analysis, which will be completed by June of 2021, to assess the readiness of the energy grid to accommodate increasing amounts of electrification, in alignment with and to inform District policy.
  • Enhancing the overall resilience of our infrastructure and continuing to assess impacts of climate change on our system.

"This announcement is an outstanding example of how partnerships between utilities and cities can lead to greater climate ambition," said Bob Perciasepe, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). "Pepco's commitment is critical to Washington, DC's reduction goals, and the innovative solutions it lays out shows Pepco to be a clear private sector leader. To achieve the low-carbon economy we will need a plethora of technology solutions, and from battery storage, to electric vehicle charging infrastructure and expanding access to solar, Pepco is making great strides toward that goal."

In addition to the steps Pepco is taking to enhance its operations, the company has committed to helping its customers achieve their climate change goals by empowering them to manage their energy use, take advantage of clean and renewable technologies and reduce emissions through a number of innovative products and programs the company plans to offer, including:

  • New energy efficiency programs to be proposed in 2021 to help all customers save money and use less energy.
  • Helping customers make more informed energy decisions by providing easier access to energy usage information.
  • Launching a new Energy Marketplace, if approved as part of the company's planned energy efficiency filing, to provide quick and easy access to discounted energy efficient products like LED bulbs, thermostats, advanced power strips, and more.
  • Simplifying the switch to solar by improving our interconnection processes and enhancing our customer solar toolkit to provide a one-stop shop for solar applications as well as our online solar hosting capacity map.
  • Providing off-peak rates to encourage transportation electrification by offering special rates as part of our approved transportation electrification program for customers who charge their vehicles during non-peak energy usage periods.

"Power sector action is essential to tackling the climate crisis, and to aligning with the ambitious climate goals of major cities like Washington D.C.," said Mindy Lubber, Ceres CEO and president. "We are encouraged by these new climate commitments from Pepco DC, which will help its customers increase energy efficiency, cut costs, and more easily deploy renewable energy."

As part of this initiative Pepco also plans to continue to collaborate with government, community, civic, and non-profit partners across the District on innovative actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money and energy, and build resilience. 

"This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Air Act and now more than ever, it is critically important that we protect the air we breathe," said Aleks Casper, director of Advocacy, American Lung Association in D.C. "Air pollution can harm anyone's health, and climate change is making air quality worse. Together, through collective action, we can all help improve air quality and address climate change. We applaud Pepco for launching this plan within the District to not only address their own facilities but for also engaging and empowering the community to take critical steps to reduce their carbon footprint and transition to clean energy."  

The initiatives Pepco plans to engage in with partners across the District include:

  • Powering the future of transportation by deploying infrastructure, as part of our approved transportation electrification program, to support charging of electric taxis, rideshare vehicles, buses and other vehicles in the District.
  • Creating shade and planting energy saving trees through continuous partnership with Casey Trees and the National Arbor Day Foundation to provide free trees for Pepco customers and communities
  • Enabling solar for income limited customers by making Pepco land and roof space available to host community solar projects for limited-income households. 
  • Advancing solar, storage and other non-wires solution as part of a series of innovative clean energy solutions and implementing key elements of PowerPath DC, including initiating an innovative distribution system planning process in collaboration with multiple stakeholders to facilitate non-wires alternatives for meeting customer load, including energy storage and distributed solar projects.
  • Electrifying food trucks by launching an initiative to explore opportunities to convert food trucks in the District to electric auxiliary power in order to reduce gasoline and diesel fuel use and emissions in the downtown area.
  • Encouraging customers to take action to save energy and save money through the Reduce Energy Use DC initiative, which is a collaborative effort between the District of Columbia government and community and nonprofit partners.
  • Awarding $125,000 of grants annually through our Sustainable Community Grants program to help communities preserve open space and build resilience.

Pepco will launch a new website soon where customers and local stakeholders can learn more about the company's climate commitment at pepco.com/climate.

Readers are encouraged to visit The Source, Pepco's online news room. Find additional information about Pepco by visiting pepco.com. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/pepcoconnect and on Twitter at twitter.com/pepcoconnect. Our mobile app is available at pepco.com/mobileapp.       

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