Utility discount programs, bill credits, and other assistance

Summer Ready DC
Eligible District residents can apply to several assistance/discount programs to help lower their utility costs. The DCPSC requires that Pepco, Washington Gas and Verizon sponsor discount programs for residents, but there are even more options to save money through the STAY DC and #Here2HelpDC initiatives.

Updates: Avoiding Utility Service Disconnections
A DCPSC order analyzing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on utility companies and consumers outlines several guidelines, suggestions and timelines related to utility discount programs and how to avoid utility service disconnections:
  • District residents who are behind on their Pepco, Washington Gas and/or Verizon landline bills are encouraged to start payment plans with their utility prior to October 12, 2021.
  • Residents on a utility payment plan who are no more than 2 months behind in meeting the terms of that plan by October 12, 2021, will not have their utility service disconnected.
  • Residents enrolled in a utility discount program (e.g., RAD, RES, Lifeline), the STAY DC initiative or the Department of Energy & Environment’s LIHEAP program before October 12, 2021, will not have their utility service disconnected.
  • Residents who are behind on their Pepco, Washington Gas and/or Verizon landline bills who do not get on a payment plan or enroll in STAY DC, LIHEAP or utility discount programs are encouraged to reduce their unpaid bills to less than $600 by October 12, 2021, to prevent a service disconnection after that date.
Electricity
Senior Citizens and Disabled Resident Credit
Seniors and individuals with disabilities may be eligible to receive a monthly $7.50 credit on their Pepco bill. Eligible residents must be receiving either the D.C. Homestead Deduction or the Senior Citizen/Disabled Property Tax Reduction, and do not receive the Pepco Residential Aid Discount (RAD). Enrollment is automatic and the credit will appear on each monthly bill. If you believe you are eligible for the credit and are not receiving it, email Pepco or call (202) 496-5830.

Residential Aid Discount (RAD)
This discount program offers eligible Pepco customers a monthly credit, also known as the Residential Aid Credit (RAC), which covers the full customer charge and energy charge for distribution. It also exempts customers from the Residential Aid Discount surcharge, the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund surcharge, and the Energy Assistance Trust Fund surcharge. Credits for these charges are individually listed on bills as “RAC – Distribution” and “RAC Surcharges.” Customers who use a third-party supplier will still receive the RAC. The full RAC is equal to approximately 30% of a typical RAD customer's bill.
 
Applications for RAD are administered through the Department of Energy & Environment.
Natural Gas
Residential Essential Service (RES)
This program from Washington Gas discounts the distribution portion of a customer’s bill from November through April of each year. Additionally, RES customers receive a discount equal to 100% of the distribution portion of their bill. RES customer’s bills will also list the surcharges that RES customers do not pay, including the RES surcharge, the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund surcharge, and the Energy Assistance Trust Fund surcharge. Customers can enroll in RES at any time, but the enrollment year begins on October 1.
 
Applications for RES are administered through the Department of Energy & Environment.
Telephone
Lifeline
This program from Verizon, also known as Economy II, offers landline local telephone service to qualified customers under age 65 of age for $3 per month; seniors aged 65 or over pay just $1 per month. Lifeline participants can place unlimited calls in the Washington metropolitan area. Lifeline service is a non-transferable benefit and only one Lifeline service discount is available per household, not per person. Learn more from the Universal Service Administrative Co.
Other Assistance Programs
STAY DC
This financial assistance program helps D.C. renters and housing providers who are looking for support to cover housing and utility expenses and offset the loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds are available to help pay for rent, gas, water, and electricity bills.
 
#Here2HelpDC
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, four District agencies charged with serving DC utility consumers joined forces to create #Here2HelpDC, a public awareness campaign to inform District residents and businesses about energy and money-saving initiatives that can help minimize negative financial impacts of the pandemic.

#Here2HelpDC encourages residents and business to make a plan to pay what they can to keep utility bills as current as possible. The campaign also provides resources to help reduce costs and suggests ways to cut your bills with renewable energy options.
 
Department of Energy & Environment Utility Affordability Programs
Learn more about other financial assistance, discounts, and energy efficiency programs available to District residents to help lower utility bills.

Income Eligibility Requirements
Nearly all* of the discount programs and credits mentioned on this page are available to District residents who meet the following income requirements (updated as of May 27, 2021). See individual program applications for complete details:
 
Household Size Maximum Annual Income
1 $57,650
2 $65,850
3 $74,100
4 $82,300
5 $88,900
6 $95,500
7 $102,100
8 $108,650
*Discounted landline telephone service offered through the Lifeline program has different income eligibility requirements. Applicants must receive either Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”), Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”), Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans of Survivors Pension Benefit, or have income less than 135% of the federal poverty level.
 

For assistance applying to any of these programs, or if you have any questions, please call the DCPSC Office of Consumer Services at (202) 626-5120.