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Logo of the Potomac Electric Power Company
|Area served||Washington, D.C. metropolitan area|
|Owner(s)||Pepco Holdings, Inc.|
The Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO), also known as Pepco, is an investor-owned utility supplying electric power to the city of Washington, D.C., and to surrounding communities in Maryland. It has operated there since the 1920s.
The company's trademarked slogan is "Your life. Plugged in."
Pepco was founded in the late 19th Century as a subsidiary of the Washington Traction and Electric Company, one of the private streetcar companies in Washington. Surplus power was then sold to other electric streetcar companies and to cable car companies so that they could convert to electricity. Later, the power was also sold to business and residential customers. The Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 forced the North American Company, the holding company, to divest itself of either their streetcar operations or their power generating utility and as power generation was far more profitable, North American choose to divest itself of the transport entity.
In 2001, the company was reorganized and became a unit of Pepco Holdings, Inc.
PEPCO's bulk transmission system consists of transmission lines operating at 115 kV, 138kV, 230 kV and 500 kV. PEPCO has interconnections with Potomac Edison (230kV, 500kV) Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. (500kV, 230kV, 115kV), and Dominion Virginia Power (500kV, 230kV).
An investigation by The Washington Post in 2010 faulted Pepco for poor reliability. The report noted that the company's performance had slipped since 2005, comparing poorly to other major utilities in both the frequency and duration of power outages. Also, thousands of people lost power for as many as 5 days after only 5-8 inches of heavy wet snow. In 2011, Business Insider named the company first on its list of "The 19 Most Hated Companies In America" based on its American Customer Satisfaction Index rating.
During the severe June 29, 2012, derecho, more than half of the customers in Montgomery, County Maryland lost electric power. Restoration rates severely lagged behind those of neighboring power companies that were equally impacted by the storm. Pepco was unable to restore power for thousands of customers for an entire week. In nearby Fairfax County, Virginia, Dominion Power restored power to most customers within 36 hours. In the June 2012 derecho, over 200,000 Pepco customers lost power, and some were not restored for 8 days. PEPCO charged customers a surcharge for the time they were without power and their meters were not running an administrative fee, amounting to $0.50 per customer.
- North American Co. v. Securities and Exchange Commission, 327 U.S. 686 (1946). FindLaw.com
- Stephens, Joe; Flaherty, Mary Pat (December 5, 2010). "Why Pepco Can't Keep the Lights On". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
- Lubin, Gus (June 29, 2011). "The 19 Most Hated Companies In America". Business Insider. Retrieved January 19, 2012. More than one of
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