Small steps now can provide big savings on your winter utility bill.

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Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia

Beginning December 14th, DC residents can sign-up for a #WinterReadyDC weatherization kit

Prepare your home

5 ways to save energy and money on utility bills this winter

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 many others!) to help manage your bill.


Stay informed

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, tens of thousands of District residents have fallen behind on their utility bills — there’s a good chance this will only get worse as the public health emergency continues and we move into colder months. Consumers should continue to pay their bills during this time, but if that's not possible, they should reach out to the DCPSC for help negotiating payment arrangements and/or additional assistance.

Stay informed about COVID-19 and the District’s response efforts:


The first step to saving energy is staying informed. It is 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.
  • The DCPSC’s Consumer Bill of Rights defines the relationship and responsibilities of utility service providers and consumers.
  • DC Council legislation prohibits natural gas and electric suppliers from turning off a customer’s heat in the winter when the temperature is below freezing. Note that utilities also cannot disconnect your service for non-payment during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • The Standard of Care for Animals Amendment Act of 2017 “establishes under what extreme weather conditions that keeping animals outside would constitute cruelty to animals.”



Learn more about #Here2HelpDC, a public awareness campaign to inform DC residents and businesses about energy and money-saving initiatives during COVID-19.

Get Help

You can’t always predict winter weather, but you can plan for it. Select each organizational logo below to find more assistance and resources this winter.

Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia
DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU)
DC Power Connect
DC Water
Department of Energy & Environment
Department of Energy
FEMA Shakeout
Homeland Security & Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA)
Mayor's Office of Community Relations (MOCRS)
Office of United Communications
District Snow Team
DC Snow Volunteer
Hamilton Relay

Act Now

Weather affects your energy bill more than any other factor. Follow these tips to help manage your bill.


Prepare your home

As the calendar changes, get ahead of the coming cold weather and winterize your home (Espanol).


  • Have roof inspection for missing or loose shingles
  • Inspect for clean gutters and downspouts
  • 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


  • 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 drafty windows with plastic
  • Clean dryer filter regularly
  • Find and eliminate any leaks or gaps using caulking and/or weather stripping
  • 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

Reduce energy costs

Take these small steps to manage your energy costs (Espanol).

  • Sign up for budget billing with Pepco and/or Washington Gas to spread heating costs out throughout the year
  • 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 (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
  • 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 drafty windows with plastic
  • In older homes, insulate the attic
  • Use energy efficient light bulbs
  • Put caulk plates around outlets
  • Insulate pipes

Be ready for winter weather

Always have the following supplies on-hand to be prepared for a major snowstorm or power outage (Espanol).

  • 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

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