For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 27, 2018) – Pepco Maryland customers will benefit from an $11-million effort to trim trees and remove vegetation along nearly 950 miles of aerial electric lines in 2018. This work, which will continue through the year, will help maintain safe and reliable service for about 566,000 customers.
Tree and vegetation trimming is a critical part of Pepco's efforts to keep the lights on for customers, especially as the company prepares for the summer storm season, where heavy rain and gusty winds can bring down trees and tree branches, causing damage to power lines and other electric equipment. Each year, trees cause about 40 percent of customer power outages.
Through the year, customers may notice vegetation management crews across the company's service area, particularly in in Montgomery County, Prince George's County, and many of the municipalities within them, including; Chevy Chase Village, Fairmount Heights, Cheverly, Seat Pleasant, Somerset, Martin's Addition, Chevy Chase, Glen Echo, Takoma Park, Forest Heights, Cottage City, Colmar Manor, Brentwood, Bladensburg, North Brentwood, Capitol Heights, North Chevy Chase, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Washington Grove, Riverdale Park, New Carrollton, Greenbelt, Hyattsville, University Park, and District Heights. As part of the company's ongoing commitments to the safety of customers and the local community, customers are notified before work begins in their area.
Pepco's vegetation management crews are trained in arboricultural techniques as defined in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 Standard. This standard takes into account the type and location of the tree, its relation to overhead equipment, and overall health of the tree. When pruning trees to provide clearance from overhead equipment, Pepco crews uses directional pruning techniques, whenever possible, to help direct tree growth away from equipment while also maintaining the health and beauty of the vegetation.
Planting new trees is also important to Pepco. Each year, Pepco partners with the Arbor Day Foundation to provide free trees to residential customers through the Energy-Saving Trees program. This annual initiative helps customers conserve energy and reduce household energy bills through strategic tree planting. Shade trees can reduce residential cooling costs by up to 30 percent, while in the winter months trees reduce wind speeds and infiltration of cold air into homes, reducing heating costs.
For District of Columbia homeowners, Pepco also offers the "Right Tree, Right Place," a tree planting program in partnership with Casey Trees, a D.C.-based nonprofit committed to restoring and protecting the tree canopy of the nation's capital. Information about both programs can be found at pepco.com.
Pepco is committed to providing its customers with a modern, reliable and resilient energy grid. Over the last five years, Pepco has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in Maryland and the District of Columbia to modernize the local electric distribution system to further provide safe and reliable service to customers.
Because of these efforts, during the past five years, the number of electric outages has decreased by 37 percent in the District and 49 percent in Maryland. In 2017, customers experienced the lowest average number of electric outages in the company's history, as well as the fastest restoration times ever.
To learn more, readers are encouraged to visit The Source, Pepco's online news room. Find additional information about Pepco by visiting www.pepco.com. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pepcoconnect and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pepcoconnect. Our mobile app is available at www.pepco.com/mobileapp.
About Pepco: Pepco, a public utility owned by Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), provides safe and reliable energy to more than 842,000 electric delivery customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.