A utility bill is broken down into several different sections, each of which provides important information. In addition to guides from Pepco and Washington Gas, here’s an overview of common sections.
Summary of your charges

The summary of charges generally appears at the top the bill. This section provides an overview of the account status, including the previous account balance, any payments made on the previous balance and the new amount owed for the current billing period.

Electricity consumers who have not selected a third-party supplier have the Standard Offer Service (SOS) rate by default. Selecting a different retail electricity supplier will replace the SOS rate with the rate offered by the retail electricity supplier.

Details of your electric charges

This section shows the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) you used during the billing period, as well as the rate you pay per kWh, which may change with the seasons. The section is comprised of several smaller charges that cover maintenance and upgrades to the electric grid and to fund other DC government-sponsored energy initiatives. The names and amounts of these electricity charges include an electric distribution and an electric supply charge.



The delivery of electricity to your home or business. This includes local wires, transformers, substations and other equipment used to deliver electricity to end-user consumers beginning at the high-voltage transmission lines.


Part of the basic service charges on every customer’s bill for delivering electricity from the electric distribution company to your home or business. The distribution charge is regulated by the Public Service Commission. This charge will vary according to how much electricity you use.


Energy usage

This shows your total consumption each month over the past year and provides a good visual representation of how much energy you used as compared to the previous year. Pepco customers also have access to “green button” data that lets you view, analyze and display electricity use in either graph or tabular format. You can also download this data to create customized reports and graphs.

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