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For Immediate Release

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PECO Communications

PECO.Communications@exeloncorp.com

Winter is Coming, Weather You Like It or Not!

PECO provides tips to customers while preparing for colder weather

PHILADELPHIA (December 2, 2021) – As temperatures begin to dip, PECO has been hard at work completing the necessary projects to ensure the company's natural gas and electric systems are ready to meet the energy needs of customers all winter long. This proactive effort also includes infrastructure work to strengthen the local energy grid to prevent outages caused by severe winter storms. 

As part of this effort, the company is investing approximately $6 billion during the next five years to inspect equipment, complete targeted system enhancements and corrective maintenance, invest in new equipment, and perform vegetation management work. This includes PECO's Reliability & Resiliency Plan to make the local energy grid stronger and more resilient to provide safe, reliable, affordable, and clean energy to customers.

Specific to PECO's natural gas system, the company has inspected equipment, completed necessary repairs or replacements, performed preventative maintenance work, and installed additional natural gas main and service lines to bring natural gas service to new customers. In 2021, PECO completed 120 projects to replace nearly 150,000 feet of existing natural gas line with new plastic pipe, which enhances safety, is more durable, improves service, and reduces methane emissions. The company has secured natural gas supply and completed filling storage facilities to serve our more than 540,000 natural gas customers this heating season.

In addition, PECO has inspected more than 13,000 miles of aerial electric lines and 1,200 manholes to make any needed repairs to underground electrical equipment. This seasonal readiness work helps proactively ensure that PECO's system is ready for the upcoming winter months.

"We are committed to providing safe, reliable, and resilient service for our customers every day, especially during the colder winter months," said John McDonald, PECO senior vice president and COO. "We work proactively throughout the year to inspect our infrastructure and make upgrades and improvements so we can continue to meet the needs of our customers when they need it the most."

PECO is also helping customers stay safe and save on their energy bills with a number of resources:

Storm Safety

While PECO works to prevent as many outages as possible, severe storms can cause damage and power outages. Customers can act now to prepare for severe weather by visiting peco.com/storm.

In addition, customers can visit peco.com/alerts before winter weather grips the region and sign up to receive updates on their energy usage and information regarding power outages via text, email, or phone, including when power is out, when service is expected to be restored, or when power is restored.

Customers can also text "ADDOUTAGE" to MYPECO (697326), to enroll in our two-way texting program to report outages and check the status of their outage.

Save Energy, Save Money

Increased usage can also lead to higher bills, especially considering increased energy costs expected nationwide this winter. Customers are encouraged to use energy wisely, take steps to be more efficient, and take advantage of bill relief or assistance programs.

Customers can take advantage of energy efficiency programs to save energy and money, including energy assessments that identify ways to save even more. To learn more about PECO's residential programs visit http://www.peco.com/waystosave.

By following a few simple tips and making straightforward energy efficiency improvements during the fall, customers could save 20 percent or more on their winter heating bills.

  • Keep it sealed. A poorly sealed house is costlier to keep warm. Caulk around doors, windows, and any openings for utility services. Using the locks on your windows helps make a tighter seal that is more resistant to drafts. If you have a fireplace, keep your damper closed when the fireplace is not in use.
  • Upgrade your insulation. Insulating your home can significantly reduce your heating costs, while also increasing the comfort of your home. Reducing air leaks – around floors, walls, ceilings, ducts, fireplaces, doors, windows, vents, and plumbing – could cut your home's average monthly energy bill by 10 percent.
  • Check ducts for air leaks. Look for joints that are no longer connected. Leaky ductwork can increase your energy bill significantly.
  • Warm up your system. Service your heating system before winter begins. A well-maintained system will last longer, operate more efficiently, and save you money. The potential for carbon monoxide exposure is possible if home heating equipment is not properly tested, serviced, and maintained.
  • Manage your thermostat. Keep thermostats set at a comfortable level. You can save about two percent on your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat. When you are asleep or out of the house, try turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours to save approximately 10 percent on your heating bill. Consider investing in a smart thermostat that can connect to your mobile devices, helping you stay on top of your energy usage.
  • Be prepared for cooler weather. Remove screens and air conditioners from windows and install storm windows.
  • Do not heat unused areas. Close vents in unused rooms and shut doors to unused rooms, closets, and basements.
  • Take advantage of the sun's heat. Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home and close them at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
  • Shorter days and longer lights. Adjust outdoor lighting timers as the nights grow longer. Replace older incandescent bulbs with new energy efficient LED bulbs.

Bill Relief and Assistance Programs

PECO offers a variety of bill relief options and assistance programs to help customers make ends meet. PECO has made new payment plans available, which can spread outstanding balance payments up to 24 months, with no money down and no interest charged. In addition, budget billing makes short-term fluctuations in monthly bills easier to handle by dividing annual energy costs evenly throughout the year. Residential customers should act now and can find out more about options online at www.peco.com/help.

Additional customer assistance programs include:

  • Customer Assistance Program (CAP): An annual credit for qualified customers based on household income and energy use.
  • Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): A federal cash grant program offering up to $1,500 to help low-income customers manage their energy costs and ensure service during the heating season.
  • Matching Energy Assistance Fund (MEAF): A program funded by voluntary contributions of customers and matched dollar for dollar by PECO for up to $1,000 in total assistance for those who qualify.
  • Customer Assistance and Referral Evaluation Services (CARES): A referral and information service designed to assist customers who have special needs or extenuating circumstances that prevent the payment of their utility bill.

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PECO, founded in 1881, is Pennsylvania's largest electric and natural gas utility. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PECO delivers energy to more than 1.6 million electric customers and more than 532,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania. The company's 2,900 employees are dedicated to the safe and reliable delivery of electricity and natural gas as well as enhanced energy management conservation, environmental stewardship, and community assistance. PECO is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC), the nation's only Fortune 100 utility and leading competitive energy provider. For more information visit PECO.com, and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.

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