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As a company with significant assets and critical energy infrastructure in the District of Columbia, and as a major employer, Pepco has a responsibility to address our own greenhouse gas footprint while working to provide customers with safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy through innovative and inclusive solutions. The District of Columbia has a vision to be the healthiest, greenest and most livable city in the United States. We seek to be an essential partner in the District’s effort to address the climate crisis and create lasting resilience for all customers. Learn more about our commitment and journey to climate action.
Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from our operations and assets and building resilience for the future
Empowering our customers to manage their energy use and emissions
Modernizing the grid and supporting the District’s climate change and clean energy goals
To learn more about our current efforts and planned actions for our company, customers, and communities click on the categories and tiles below.
Buildings & Energy Efficiency
Transportation & Broader Electrification
Clean Energy & Local Solar
Resilience & Adaptation
Background: The District of Columbia released its Carbon Free DC roadmap, which establishes various pathways to achieving the District’s climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals. Among those pathways is a transition away from the use of natural gas in homes and businesses and towards a more electrified future.
Action: As the electric utility responsible for providing safe, affordable, reliable and sustainable electric service to all Washingtonians, Pepco is undertaking an analysis to understand the investments needed in the electric grid to support the electrification pathways in Carbon Free DC, as well as the timing of identified investment needs. Pepco will publish the findings of this study by Q3 2021, which will include the necessary changes to system design and other potential actions to accommodate increasing levels of electrification in alignment with District of Columbia policy.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: Carbon Free DC establishes that 95% of the District of Columbia’s GHG emissions are derived from energy use. By decarbonizing electricity and electrifying various aspects of the economy, as well as deploying energy efficiency programs and initiatives, the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment estimates that the District will be able to reduce its GHG footprint from approximately 7.6 million metric tons today down to approximately 1.1 million metric tons by 2050. Those initiatives include implementing Building Energy Performance Standards, reducing vehicle miles traveled, increasing the use of public transit, and expanding electrification, among other efforts.
Convert 30% of Pepco’s passenger vehicles and compact SUVs to all electric and medium and heavy-duty trucks to Plug-in Hybrid models by 2025; increase conversions to 50% by 2030
Background: Pepco has a large fleet of cars and trucks to support the work we do maintaining the District’s electric system and responding to emergencies.
Action: As vehicles are due for replacement, Pepco will purchase all electric vehicles for its passenger cars and small SUVs and plug-in hybrid models for its medium and heavy-duty vehicles (technology permitting).
Greenhouse Gas Impact: By switching from conventional gasoline vehicles to electric models, we estimate that we will avoid more than 450,000 pounds of CO2 emissions in 2025.
Complete comprehensive energy efficiency audits and assessment of metering data for Benning Service Center and Edison Place by 2021
Background: Measuring and evaluating the energy usage in our buildings through BEPS and Energy Benchmarking reporting is essential for making smart decisions when it comes to eliminating waste and implementing energy saving measures.
Action: Pepco will complete energy efficiency audits and review our metering data at our Benning Service Center and Edison Place Headquarters locations by 2021. The opportunities identified by the audits will be implemented in the 2021 to 2025 timeframe. Opportunities include:
Greenhouse Gas Impact: Once the audits are completed and opportunities identified, Pepco will prioritize upgrades that provide the greatest greenhouse gas reduction benefit at the least cost, pursuing the most effective opportunities in the 2021 to 2025 timeframe.
Install High-Efficiency LED Lighting at Edison Place and All Substations
Background: Edison Place is the company’s headquarters (it is also Exelon’s co-headquarters, pursuant to the merger) building located in the downtown area of the District of Columbia. Pepco also has 49 substations in the District of Columbia, located in every District, which have an important role in providing safe and reliable electricity to homes and businesses.
Action: Pepco is working to install LED lighting at Edison Place and will replace all lighting—both indoor and outdoor—at substations within the District of Columbia with high-efficiency LEDs by 2025. Together, these lighting upgrades are estimated to save about 730,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: These energy saving measures are estimated to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 500,000 pounds per year.
Maintain a balanced ratio of electric vehicle (EV) chargers for both fleet vehicles and workplace charging
Background: Pepco is committed to converting its fleet to all electric and plug-in hybrid electric models. To enable this, we continue to install additional chargers at our facilities to support our growing fleet of EVs and to provide workplace charging for our employees.
Action: To meet our 2025 and 2030 fleet electrification commitment, we installed 17 additional chargers at our Benning facility in 2020, bringing the total number of chargers at Pepco facilities to 34. We will continue to add chargers, as needed, to support fleet conversion and further support workplace charging needs.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: Replacing a gasoline vehicle with an electric model in the District of Columbia will reduce annual CO2 emissions by more than 5,000 pounds per year.
Reduce our average SF6 leak rate to less than 1% by 2022 through increased detection and equipment replacement efforts
Background: As is typical in the electric power industry, Pepco substations use sulfur hexafluoride or SF6 gas to “insulate” high voltage electrical equipment, such as switches and circuit breakers. However, SF6, which is a powerful greenhouse gas (GHG), can leak from equipment, contributing to climate change.
Action: Pepco will reduce its overall SF6 leak rate to less than 1% through leak inspections and replacing aging equipment. Pepco will also evaluate the use of SF6-free equipment for use on our system.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: By monitoring for leaks and upgrading equipment, we expect to minimize SF6-related GHG emissions. SF6 emissions account for approximately 15-20% of Pepco’s greenhouse gas GHG emissions associated with Pepco’s DC operations.
Integrate more grid enhancing solutions to help meet the District’s clean energy goals
Background: Technology is changing the way that we produce and use energy. It takes a forward-thinking, planful approach to keep pace with the changing needs of the electric system in the face of this technology revolution.
Action: Pepco is working with the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia and a broad array of stakeholders on several initiatives to modernize the electric system, including efforts supported by PowerPath DC. Projects include integrating more distributed energy resources, such as the use of battery storage at Pepco’s new Mt. Vernon Substation and in areas of Ward 8, to enhance resilience and defer the need for traditional wires investments. Pepco is also working with stakeholders on establishing the new Distribution System Planning process for grid enhancing solutions. This new process will open opportunities for developers and technology providers to propose innovative solutions to meet upcoming grid needs through non-traditional energy solutions.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: A modern grid is critical to meet the District’s ambitious clean energy, inclusive innovation, resilience and climate change goals.
Background: Pepco is a major employer in the greater DMV region, and we recognize that the actions of our team members can impact the overall greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of the region. To encourage innovation, action and engagement, Pepco and the broader Exelon family proudly support the Eco-Team Employee Resource Group (ERG), which is an employee-driven organization focused on identifying, elevating and implementing eco-friendly ideas to reduce energy use, minimize waste, increase recycling and promote environmentally-friendly transportation options.
Action: Pepco and Eco-Team are encouraging the use of public transit, measuring and monitoring employees’ personal GHG footprint, and providing energy saving and GHG reducing tips for at home and at work. In 2019, the Eco-team launched an online Carbon Challenge with the EcoCRED App, which provided Pepco employees with resources to build eco-friendly habits.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: Pepco’s Carbon Challenge reduced a total of 642 pounds of CO2 in just two days. That is equivalent to the CO2 emissions from 33 gallons of gasoline. The Eco-Team ERG will establish additional GHG reduction challenges over the coming months and years.
Accelerate the transition to 100% clean and renewable electricity use at our facilities in the District
Background: The District of Columbia has the nation’s most ambitious clean and renewable energy target, with a mandate of 100% of electricity sold in the District to be from qualifying renewable sources by 2032.
Action: Pepco is seeking to satisfy 100% of its own building electricity use by 2025—seven years early—with clean electricity that satisfies the District’s goals as established in the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Act of 2018, through a combination of strategies including purchasing Tier 1 renewable energy credits and helping the District meet is greenhouse gas (GHG) and renewable energy goals.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: Building electricity use accounts for almost 70% of the GHG emissions associated with Pepco’s DC operations. Achieving the District’s 100% renewable electricity goal seven years early would significantly reduce an important part of our GHG footprint.
Background: Severe weather is the leading cause of power outages in the United States (U.S.) and costs the U.S. economy billions of dollars per year. Outages caused by severe weather are expected to rise as climate change increases the frequency and intensity of storms, causing flooding and major wind events, heat waves and droughts, and changes in historic weather patterns. At the same time, our customers are becoming more reliant on electric service to power their daily lives. To maintain safe, reliable service for all customers in the face of climate change, Pepco is taking action to make the system smarter, stronger and cleaner to build resilience and to enhance our preparedness for major weather events. As a result of work to install new devices and more automated equipment as well as harden assets, customers have experienced some of the lowest average numbers of electric outages in the company’s history in recent years, as well as some of the fastest restoration times. For example, since 2013, the number of electric outages in the District have decreased by approximately 40%, with the company achieving top decile for performance.
Action: Pepco takes seriously its responsibility to maintain the safety and reliability of the system. We design our system and processes to withstand extreme weather events, respond to outages and restore service quickly, and build redundancy and resilience into our facilities. For example, Pepco has an extensive vegetation management program to support strategic tree trimming and works closely with the District of Columbia’s Department of Transportation’s Division of Urban Forestry on efforts. In addition, Pepco equipment installed below street level is designed to operate even if submerged for extended periods of time. Finally, we conduct extensive Summer and Winter Readiness analyses, including engaging with our customers and key stakeholders to remind them of steps they can take to prepare for extreme weather events and inform them of actions we are taking. Specific actions Pepco will continue and plans to take include:
While many of these activities and efforts are underway, others may require additional regulatory approvals or funding authority, including those in pending proceedings and cases. Pepco will continue to identify actions and investments we believe necessary to enhance the resilience of our system and advance plans and proposals as part of the regulatory process, accordingly.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: The District of Columbia released Resilient DC, a strategy for the District to thrive in the face of change. The plan includes a tactical implementation strategy and a series of actions and recommendations, including those for critical infrastructure, such as electricity. Pepco’s actions to enhance the overall resilience of the electric system, in addition to other actions included in this Climate Change Commitment will help support the objectives established in Resilient DC.
Offer special electric rates for residential customers with electric vehicle chargers
Background: Utility companies across the country are seeking ways to encourage electric vehicle (EV) drivers to charge their vehicles during off-peak periods when overall electricity system demand is low, as opposed to on-peak periods when both system demand and the associated emissions profiles of the generation sources needed meet that demand are high.
Action: Pepco offers special electric rates for residential customers with EV chargers to encourage charging during off-peak energy usage periods. This benefits all customers by avoiding costly upgrades to the grid and the need for the broader electricity system to call on higher-emitting resources to meet energy demand.
Providing our customers with the information they need to effectively manage their energy usage
Background: Access to energy usage data provides our customers with the information they need to track their energy use from day to day, including identifying energy waste and potential inefficiencies. Pepco is committed to empowering our customers with tools and tips that allow them to better manage their usage, save money—and reduce emissions—through a web-based platform, such as MyAccount.
Action: Pepco plans to expand data availability to all customers to help them better manage their energy use. Pepco is also exploring online tools that would enable customers to share their energy usage data with third-party providers.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: By providing detailed data and energy efficiency resources, customers can make smarter energy choices that will reduce emissions.
Offering energy efficiency programs to Pepco customers in the District of Columbia
Background: The cleanest, cheapest kilowatt-hour is the kilowatt-hour that is never produced and never consumed. Advancing energy efficiency solutions is, therefore, one of the most effective ways to combat climate change—affordably and sustainably. Energy efficiency saves customers money, promotes health and safety and eliminates the harmful emissions affecting our most vulnerable communities and the planet.
Action: In 2021, Pepco will propose, for regulatory approval, a suite of energy efficiency programs for District of Columbia customers that align with guidance provided in Formal Cases 1160 and 1148, including low- and moderate-income households, to help them save money and reduce their electricity use, while lowering their greenhouse gas footprint. Pepco will also expand its energy savings tips on pepco.com for all customers.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: District residents, businesses and government entities use approximately 11 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. Reducing electricity usage by just 1% would eliminate more than 80 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
#ReduceEnergyUseDC asks District of Columbia residents to pledge to learn how to use energy more efficiently, take steps to reduce energy use at home, and save money while helping fight climate change
Background: #ReduceEnergyUseDC is an initiative launched in April 2020 by founding partners Pepco, the District’s Department of Energy and Environment and the DC Sustainable Energy Utility, along with more than 20 environmental, business, and community groups.
Action: District residents were encouraged to take a pledge to receive and act on tips to make systemic changes to their energy consumption. Each week in July, during the Take Action period, customers learned about specific actions they could take, based on their unique energy usage patterns to reduce energy, save money, and combat climate change. Pepco has committed to continue sponsoring and participating in this initiative through at least 2022.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: If all the nearly 2,500 households that took the pledge as of July 2020 reduced their electricity consumption by just 1%, it would eliminate more than 160,000 pounds of greenhouse emissions for the year.
Help ensure that all residents benefit from the clean energy revolution by making land and roof space available for community solar projects
Background: The District of Columbia has ambitious goals for solar energy and efforts are required to ensure that all District residents benefit from this clean energy technology.
Action: Pepco will make land and roof space available in the District to host community solar projects for limited-income households. This initiative will enable more than 1 megawatt of solar to be sited in support of the District’s solar goals and programs, such as Solar for All. Pepco commits to identifying additional space for projects in alignment with safety, security and operational needs.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: Replacing Standard Offer Service (SOS) power with 1 megawatt of solar energy will avoid approximately 1 million pounds of CO2 emissions per year.
Launch a helpful online “Energy Marketplace” featuring several energy efficient products in one convenient location
Background: Understanding the value of and gaining access to information on energy efficient products can help customers make energy choices that save money and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Providing Pepco customers with access to an online marketplace offers convenience and personalization.
Action: Pepco will propose for regulatory approval to launch an online “Energy Marketplace,” which will provide customers with the opportunity to identify, compare and purchase energy efficient equipment, lighting, appliances and other devices in one convenient location.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: Through the Energy Marketplace, Pepco is seeking to encourage smarter energy choices that will save energy and reduce emissions.
Background: As the energy mix in the District of Columbia becomes less carbon-intensive and ultimately moves toward 100% clean and renewable electricity, the greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits of transitioning to electric-powered end uses, such as heat pumps and water heaters, can have a significant impact on the District’s GHG emissions.
Action: To facilitate the District’s building—and broader—electrification and efficiency goals, Pepco will explore the opportunity to reintroduce an All Electric Rate in the District of Columbia, which has been historically offered to Pepco DC customers.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: According to DOEE’s latest GHG inventory, natural gas and fuel oil use account for 32% of the GHG emissions from building energy use in the District (residential and non-residential). Electrification and efficiency improvements can reduce these emissions. For example, switching from a natural gas water heater to an electric model can reduce CO2 emissions by more than 1,000 pounds per year, and these benefits can increase as the District transitions to 100% renewable electricity by 2032.
Explore opportunities to power food trucks with electricity rather than relying on polluting diesel generators
Background: There are more than 150 food trucks registered in the District of Columbia, providing diverse options and convenient food service. However, many are forced to rely on noisy gasoline or diesel generators to run their equipment, producing harmful air pollutants as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
Action: In 2021, Pepco will formally begin exploring opportunities to enable the conversion of food trucks in the District to electric auxiliary power, reducing gasoline and diesel fumes in the downtown area and contributing to cleaner air, lower carbon and reduced noise pollution.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: A generator consuming five gallons of gasoline produces about 100 pounds of CO2 per day. As the electricity delivered throughout the District transitions to 100% renewable electricity by 2032, the energy used to power these auxiliary power sources will as well.
Supporting tree planting in the District of Columbia to reduce energy use, create shade and sequester carbon
Background: Strategic tree planting reduces energy use, enhances system reliability, and contributes to climate resilience. Pepco was one of three utilities to launch a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees program, in 2011. As an Energy-Saving Trees partner, Pepco is a supporter of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Time for Trees initiative and 1t.org. Pepco also established a partnership with Casey Trees on a “Right Tree, Right Place” program, a local non-profit that restores and protects the District’s tree canopy.
Action: Pepco will continue its partnerships to expand the urban tree canopy to create shade, reduce urban heat-island impacts, and sequester carbon by donating more than 200 trees in 2020 to be planted across the Pepco region. Pepco will continue these partnerships in future years. Pepco’s 10-year anniversary in the Energy-Saving Trees program is in 2021 with project planning currently underway.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: From 2011 to 2019, Pepco planted or gave away 3,000 trees to over 1,600 customers, sequestering an estimated 91,000 pounds of carbon. Over a 20-year period, the trees are projected to save approximately 220,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Across all of PHIs three utilities, the Company has donated 45,615 trees since 2011 having an even larger greenhouse gas impact across our service territory.
Develop charging infrastructure for electric taxis, rideshare vehicles, buses and other vehicles in the District
Background: Vehicles in heavy use offer some of the best opportunities for reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) and air pollution emissions by converting to electricity. For example, these vehicles tend to service areas that have historically been impacted by poor air quality, contributing to public health and related issues.
Action: In 2021, Pepco will provide the "make-ready" infrastructure in accordance with regulatory approvals to support charging for electric buses, taxis and ride-share vehicles. Once installed, this infrastructure will enhance electric transportation options for District communities, reduce harmful air pollutants that affect public health and the local environment, and help the District meet its clean energy and electric transportation goals as established in the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018. Pepco looks forward to working with the District of Columbia and other stakeholders to expand the public charging network further enabling more residents to benefit from transportation electrification and accelerating the transformation of the broader transportation system.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: Replacing a gasoline vehicle with an electric model in the District of Columbia will reduce annual CO2 emissions by more than 5,000 pounds per year as well as reducing other tailpipe pollution. A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that transitioning to clean vehicles and clean fuels in the District of Columbia would produce net benefits of more than $2.5 billion, in part due to reductions in nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions and the associated improvements in public health.
Support the deployment of solar energy projects through hosting maps, toolkits and enhanced interconnection processes
Background: The District of Columbia has leading renewable energy mandates, including targets for local solar.
Action: In January of 2020, Pepco deployed a new system called Connect The Grid to better support customers and contractors in tracking their solar interconnection projects. The company commits to continuing to enhance this tool and overall interconnection process, and engage with the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment and the broader solar developer community to seek feedback on process improvements. Pepco will also continue to update its current online “solar hosting capacity map,” including information on cross-border feeders, to help customers and solar project developers identify appropriate locations on the grid to site local solar projects. In addition, Pepco will continue to provide customers with an online “Solar Toolkit” - a one-stop shop for solar applications and installation information.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: Local solar is a key element in the District of Columbia’s goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2032. In total, the Pepco system currently supports almost 123 megawatts, and counting, of solar in the District of Columbia.
Pepco, in collaboration with Rock Creek Conservancy, is offering grants to fund environmental stewardship projects and community resilience projects across the Pepco region
Background: Rock Creek, the Anacostia and Potomac watersheds and other protected and natural areas are a vital resource for the DC metro region and all people to appreciate and protect.
Action: Pepco, in collaboration with Rock Creek Conservancy, offers Sustainable Community Grant awards to eligible organizations. This program provides $75,000 in funding to support environmental stewardship projects and $50,000 for community resilience projects across the Pepco region, including in the District of Columbia, Montgomery County and Prince Georges County. Pepco is committed to continuing this program at least through 2023.
Greenhouse Gas Impact: Taking action to enable solar and battery solutions can help build resilience and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while restoring wetlands and habitat, and preserving and protecting open space and protected lands mitigate the urban heat island effect, encourage healthy activity, and create community connections.
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