Winter Ready DC 2023

Is your home ready for winter? Learn more about the small steps you can take now for big savings later.

Winter Ready DC
 The DCPSC Winter Ready DC campaign prepares District residents and businesses for winter by offering home weatherization items (while supplies last), information on utility assistance programs, and resources on how to cut energy cost throughout the colder months.

You can’t always predict winter weather, but you can plan for it. Weather affects your energy bill more than any other factor. Follow these tips (and the others below) to help manage your bill.
Learn how to install a few popular, easily accessible home weatherization items.
Reach out to DCPSC for help negotiating payment arrangements and/or additional assistance.

Tips to save energy and money over the winter

Be ready for winter weather
Always have the following supplies on-hand to be prepared for a major snowstorm or power outage.

✓ Snow shovel
✓ Rock salt, snow melt, or sand
✓ Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
✓ Cell phone and portable charger
✓ Non-perishable food (3-day supply) and a manual can opener
✓ Portable space heater or kerosene heater
✓ Flashlight with extra batteries
✓ Family communication plan
✓ Extra blankets
✓ First-aid kit
✓ Extra water (3-day supply)
✓ Prescription medication (consult with your doctor about storing medicine)
✓ Cash

Reduce energy costs
✓ Review and compare previous bills to monitor energy usage
✓ Sign up for an online account with Pepco and/or Washington Gas for a more detailed accounting of your energy usage
✓ Browse offers to switch your electric supplier using DC Power Connect
✓ Apply for discount programs (e.g., LIHEAP, UDP, WAP) from the District Department of Energy & Environment
✓ Hire a professional auditor or conduct a DIY energy audit
✓ Use a programmable thermostat to lower temperatures at night or when you leave home
✓ Caulk windows and weather-strip doors
✓ Switch screens to storm windows
✓ Turn off water supply to outside faucets
✓ Disconnect garden hoses outside faucets and drain the hose before you store them
✓ Drain exterior water faucets of water in the line
✓ Use an insulated cover for the outside faucet

Prepare your home
✓ Have roof inspection for missing or loose shingles
✓ Inspect for clean gutters and downspouts
✓ Make sure any paints or flammable materials are stored away from heat sources
✓ Make sure you know where the shut-off switch is for water, gas and electric

✓ If you have a propane or oil furnace, make sure to have your fuel storage tank topped off and ready to go
✓ Have heating system checked
✓ Flush water heater and check for signs of leakage
✓ Clean or replace air filters (monthly)
✓ Clear obstacles to heating vents so air can freely flow
✓ Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
✓ Charge the battery backup for landline telephones
✓ If you have a chimney, check and clear of any nests from birds, squirrels, or other animals
✓ Cover draughty windows with plastic
✓ Clean dryer filter regularly
✓ Find and eliminate any leaks or gaps using caulking and/or weather stripping
✓ If you have a fireplace, remember to close the damper when it’s not in use
✓ If you use electric space heaters, purchase a unit with automatic shut-off
✓ Eliminate drafts under the door by using draft stopper(s)
✓ If you have ceiling fans, run them in reverse
✓ Cover draughty windows with plastic
✓ In older homes, insulate the attic
✓ Use energy efficient light bulbs
✓ Put caulk plates around outlets
✓ Insulate pipes
You can’t always predict winter weather, but you can plan for it. The organizations and resources below can provide additional assistance this winter.
  • #Here2HelpDC: Learn more about how to manage your energy usage and find additional resources to reduce your costs.
  • The DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) helps residents and businesses use less energy and save money.
  • Tips on DC Power Connect could help you save money and increase how much of your energy comes from renewable sources.
  • The District Department of Energy & Environment can help you manage your energy and utility bills. Learn more about financial assistance, discounts, and late bill forgiveness programs.
  • DC Water offers a variety of programs to help eligible customers pay their water and sewer bills.
  • Pepco can help you prepare and manage your energy bills through flexible payment options and assistance programs.
  • Washington Gas provides some payments assistance programs available to help you manage your gas bill.
  • Verizon offers a discounted wireless Lifeline program phone service for DC residents.

The first step to saving energy is being informed. It’s important to be aware of resources, weather conditions, and emergency alerts to stay safe.
  • AlertDC is the official communications system for the District that allows you to pick the type of emergency alerts, notifications, and updates you receive directly from D.C. public safety officials. View current alerts.
  • Cold Emergency Alerts occur when the National Weather Service forecasts weather that presents a danger to residents, especially those who are outdoors and experiencing homelessness.
  • DC HSEMA’s Winter Weather Map provides critical information during and after a winter storm, such as winter watches, warnings and advisories, a snowplow tracker, calls for services and power outages.
  • Pepco’s list of current outages allows customers to report an outage, check your outage status and view Pepco’s outage map.

Stay informed about COVID-19 and the District’s response efforts. Get more information and resources: