Energy Deregulation in Washington, D.C.

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Energy Deregulation in Washington, D.C.

In 2001, Washington D.C. passed legislation approving retail electric competition. Both residential and commercial consumers of electricity in the district have the power to choose who supplies their energy. Suppliers set energy supply rates based on current market conditions and risk tolerance and manage contracts for consumers. The Washington DC electric company, Pepco, sets their standard offer rate and consumers can use that as a baseline when shopping for an alternative supplier.

Suppliers adjust to the current market conditions for DC energy rates for their customers. With the energy market always changing due to supply and demand, it is important to monitor your renewal agreement and lock in at the most ideal time. can help with this!

Utilities in Washington, D.C.

Utilities are distribution companies that deliver the energy that come from a supplier. Unfortunately, you cannot choose your utility company. They are based in select service areas across the country. But in a deregulated energy market, you have the right to choose the cost of your energy you consume.

In Washington, D.C., your utility is the Potomac Electric Power Company, known as Pepco. This company handles outages when they occur and maintains power lines to ensure your energy is delivered to your building. Pepco is your point of contact if you encounter any delivery issues. Their customer service number is 202-833-7500, and their emergency number is 1-877-737-2662.

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Washington DC Electric Company Rate Plans

You’ll need to decide the best rate type for your usage. With many different suppliers in your service area come a list of different supply agreements they offer. Each has different terms and conditions that make up your supply rate. Understanding and knowing which product is best for your business is important.

Fixed-Rate Plan

Rates are based on the market when you sign up and will stay the same throughout your contract. If market prices are low when you sign your agreement, this type of contract can be beneficial to you. Fixed rates are less risk to the customer but come at a higher cost than a pass-through product.

Variable-Rate Plan

Variable rates are based on the wholesale market price for electricity each month. This product comes with a much higher risk to reward ratio. You might save a little, but you might pay more, too.

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Before You Shop For Your New DC Energy Rate

Review these tips and tricks to shopping for a new supplier.

Default Supply with PEPCO

Pepco will provide a price to compare if you haven’t selected a supplier. This rate is a variable that changes throughout the year for residential and small commercial users. Larger commercial consumers of electricity may not qualify for the default rate and may be paying real time pricing which makes it hard to budget appropriately.

Terms of Your Contract

Every supplier has the standard offer terms, i.e. 12, 24 and 36 months. There are other options depending on your long term goals that may be more beneficial to you to lock in for. Typically, suppliers will offer up to 4-5 year options as well. Occasionally, they may have even longer terms but that is rare.

Contract End Date

If you start service with a new Washington, D.C., electric company before your current agreement ends, you’ll likely run into early termination fees. Tracking end dates may be the last thing on your mind. The easiest way to identify your current agreement end date is by calling your current supplier. They’ll be able to provide you with the exact date the contract ends.

Common Terms in the Energy Industry

While there are many things that are different between suppliers, there are common terms that are consistent and should be understood upfront.


A supplier is the company that purchases energy at the wholesale market once you have signed a contract with them. They then provide that energy to you through your utility. In a deregulated market, you can choose who your supplier is.


Utilities then take your energy you purchased and disburse it to you. They are responsible for maintaining the power lines.

Consolidated Billing

Consolidated billing is when you receive just one bill for your electricity costs and it is typically from the utility company. Dual billing is when the supply and distribution costs are separated and you receive one bill from the supplier and the other from the utility company.

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