For Immediate Release
202-872-2680 (media hotline)
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:
"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:
"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:
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.
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