Washington, DC


“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.

After countless confused and irritated phone calls to Pepco, they finally told us that we have a “legacy meter.” The meter isn’t read monthly but is based off of past trends in our apartment, AKA before we moved in. So while we have been extremely conservative and trying to use the lowest amount of energy possible, the people who lived in our apartment before us could have been leaving every light on all day and running the air and heat 24/7, and we would be paying for that years later. I was shocked that this was Pepco’s practice and beyond frustrated that I’ve been paying for previous tenants’ energy use practices instead of our own. Pepco is coming to install an AMI meter (that can be read electronically every month) but only after we requested it. Look at your Pepco bill, and if it says “estimated reading” and you are a renter, then you should call and get them to install a new meter ASAP!”


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