clearview
Photo by PoPville flickr user Clif Burns

“Dear PoPville,

A man from Clearview stopped by my house around 7 on Saturday night asking to see my latest Pepco bill. When I asked why, he said something about Pepco being deregulated and so they can’t be both my electric provider and servicer. He wanted to see my bill to confirm my rate. I thought this sounded pretty shady so I told him I didn’t have a paper bill handy as I do everything online. He then asked if I would pull up my latest bill on my phone. I told him I wasn’t doing that, forgotten passwords, etc. I said I was pretty confused by all of this and didn’t understand why I couldn’t do whatever needed to be done online or over the phone. He handed me a brochure from clearview energy and kept asking a better time to return.

Does anyone know anything about this?”

dc-water
“DC Water contractor crews performing water pipe replacements earlier this year. Courtesy David Kidd.”

From a press release:

“This week, DC Water began work to replace old water mains in the Bloomingdale neighborhood in Northwest, DC. Some of the water mains in the neighborhood were installed in the late 1800s and are past their useful life. In fact, there have been about 25 water main breaks in the area since 2000, most of them occurring in just two blocks.

DC Water will replace close to a mile of 8-inch and 12-inch water mains. In addition to improving system reliability, the replacement program will also provide increased water pressure and unimpeded water flows. Within the same program, the Authority will also replace fire hydrants, valves and service lines located in public property. DC Water will replace any lead service lines in public space and will also offer to replace the private side (on homeowners’ private property) at the same time—at the homeowners’ expense, a cost-effective measure since the contractors will already be excavating in the neighborhood. (more…)

WaterIsLife

Thanks to a reader for sending:

“As you walk from Yards Park, along the Anacostia, toward the Stadium (Anacostia Riverwalk Trail). Note the “DC Water is life” logo on the truck juxtaposed with the tremendous amount of trash in the Anacostia River. Taken in front of DC Water.”

FM2

From a press release:

“Pepco is monitoring the path of Tropical Storm Hermine and taking steps to prepare in case the anticipated heavy rain and strong winds cause service interruptions.

If the storm gains in strength, it could damage the electric system and cause power outages. If outages occur, Pepco will work around the clock to restore power, though as always restoration will not begin until it is safe for crews to perform work. When winds exceed 35 mph, work from bucket trucks is suspended until it is safe for crews to continue.

In addition to 150 internal linemen, Pepco has an additional 250 overhead line contractors and 180 tree crew personnel as well as crews from its sister utilities Atlantic City Electric and Delmarva Power available to assist in any restoration effort. Should Pepco need extra assistance, the merger with Exelon allows for shared resources from other nearby companies in the Exelon family, including Baltimore Gas & Electric and PECO in Philadelphia. (more…)

st e

From DC Water:

“After more than 10 years in the planning and approval process, DC Water is moving forward with the St. Elizabeths water storage tower. Construction is slated to begin in the coming weeks, and is scheduled for completion in 2018.

Some areas east of the Anacostia River have historically experienced low water pressure. DC Water planned years ago to improve the pressure with a new pumping station, water tower and transmission mains. Together, these elements would create a new water service zone (new pressure area) south of the Ft. Stanton area. While the pumping station was built in 2008, the water storage tower was delayed in approvals and permitting. (more…)

power
Enlarge outage map here

Been getting tons of emails and tweets about folks hit by power outages around town. Many restorations are not predicted until tomorrow. Drink your beer if it’s cold and in all seriousness, dangerous heat is also predicted tomorrow so please look out for the vulnerable. You can find more info on cooling centers here. Updates when more info is available.

From The Atlantic:

“In the heart of Washington, D.C., Keya Chatterjee and her family live off the energy produced from a single solar panel. It started in 2006, when Chatterjee and her husband had a fight with their electrical company. They were so tired of the astronomical bills that they stopped power to their home and spent the entire winter living without heating or electricity—essentially camping in their own home. After a frigid few months, they installed the solar panel and returned to Pepco, but now they supply energy to the grid rather than using it. Today, Chatterjee’s life runs on solar energy, she takes public transportation everywhere, and she’s figured out how to live with as little consumption as possible.”

pepco

“Dear PoPville,

FYI for renters with Pepco:

My roommate and I have had a problem with our Pepco bill being ridiculously high since we moved into our 2 bedroom 1,100 sq ft apartment in November. We moved from a 2,600 sq ft house with 5 people and 4 floors, and have been paying as much and sometimes more in our tiny place every single month. My roommate and I are rarely home on the weekends, turn off all our lights during the day, and sometimes are gone for weeks at a time, and our Pepco bill was continuing to rise. We even decided to turn our thermostat to “off” one month and sweated every night trying to lower the bill, and the bill went UP the next month. We also noticed we had an uncategorized amount charged on our bill each month called “Other” that didn’t fit into our energy usage categories. Three separate Pepco customer service agents were not able to tell us what this “other” category was and why we were paying $50+ a month for this uncategorized area. (more…)

good water
Photo by PoPville flickr user District Shots

In happier water news:

“Recent results from DC Water’s required lead testing program mark the lowest lead levels measured in more than a decade. Levels have continued to decline since 2004, when the water treatment process began including a corrosion control additive to reduce lead release in water. Since 2003, DC Water has replaced more than 20,000 lead service pipes on public property, representing the removal of nearly 118 miles of lead pipes that connect public water mains to household plumbing. DC Water replaces lead service pipes during water main upgrades or when customers choose to replace their portion of the service pipe on private property. DC Water reminds customers that lead sources are different in each property and urges residents to eliminate lead pipes and plumbing materials in their homes. (more…)