Duquesne Light Company History
In 1880, famed Pittsburgh inventor George Westinghouse was appproached by his younger brother, Henry Herman, to back a new Pittsburgh electric utility, the Allegheny County Light Company (ACLC). Since the older Westinghouse had already been experimenting with lighting systems for his machine plants, he readily agreed. At its launching in 1882, ACLC specialized in electric arc lighting for businesses. The company soon landed the giant Pennsylvania railroad as a major customer.
By 1884, George Westinghouse owned successful businesses in both electricity and natural gas. He then formed the Philadelphia Company as a holding company to control his enterprises. The company grew rapidly, acquiring other area companies, and eventually took over ACLC in 1896.
But further expansion screeched to a halt in 1903 when a syndicate of financiers organized the assets of some 150 independent Pittsburgh area electric and traction companies (most of which no longer existed) and consolidated them into the Duquesne Light Company. While this upstart company lobbied hard for a city lighting franchise, it would take over three years before it would build its own power plant.
Eventually, the Philadelphia Company bought Duquesne Light Company in February, 1912. As part of the consolidation, the Philadelphia Company merged ACLC and its other power companies together to form a new Duquesne Light Company (DLC). At the time, it was the tenth largest utility in the U.S.
In 1935, the Public Utility Holding Company Act forced the Philadelphia Company to spin off DLC as a separate utility company. It has since expanded its transmission and distribution network throughout both Allegheny and Beaver counties in Pennsylvania.
Now, DLC strives to give back to the people it serves in the Pittsburgh metro area. Through its charitable giving program, the company seeks ways to enhance quality of life and contribute to the region's economic growth while also working for the protection of our environment and green spaces.
Duquesne Light Company Service Territory
DLC delivers electricity to nearly 600,000 customers in some or all of Allegheny and Beaver counties in southwestern PA.
Duquesne Light Company serves these cities:
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In Pennsylvania, electricity utility service territories often overlap in some zip codes. If the tool reports that it has found more than one serving your zip code, don't worry! Just choose your local utility from those listed.
You'll then get to see the listing of all the energy suppliers' plans available in your area, along with rates, term lengths, and links to more detail information.
How to Start New Duquesne Light Company Service
Getting set up with DLC is easy and convenient. But remember that applications take at least three business days so allow that amount of time before you need electricity service to start.
The first step to starting DLC electricity service is to fill out the DLC online form. New customers can also apply by calling the DLC customer service center at 412-393-7100.
You'll need to provide the following information when you apply to start service:
- Date of birth
- Address where electricity service is needed
- Phone number
- Social Security number or Tax ID. (This is needed to check your credit history)
Again, Duquesne Light Company needs three business days to process your service request.
If you elect not to provide a Social Security number or Tax ID, please call 412-393-7300 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to complete your application over the phone.
Will I Need to Pay a Deposit?
Credit Rating -- DLC has the right to check your credit history and level of credit risk to determine whether a security deposit is necessary.
TIP -- Be sure to unfreeze your credit. If you have frozen your credit with any of the major credit agencies, you will need to have it temporarily unfrozen before you submit a new service request.
Pay a Deposit -- DLC must notify you in writing of the specific reasons why you are required to pay a security deposit. Deposit amounts will be based on company charges in an amount that is equal to either:
- one-sixth of the applicant's estimated annual bill
- one-sixth of the actual average annual bill for existing customers at the premises
Customers have three months to pay the deposit. The utlity can hold the deposit for 24 months. If the customer pays their bill in full and on time for 12 consecutive months, the deposit will earn interest.
Customers also have the right to use a guarantor who is a credit-worthy customer with DLC and can pay your bills if you fail to do so.
Understand DLC Delivery and Supply Charges
In Pennsylvania, residential customers pay for both the cost to deliver their electricity as well as for the amount of electricity supply that they use.
Understand DLC PTC Charges
PA PUC requires Duquesne Light to provide electricity supply at a default rate to customers in their service territory who don't shop for a retail supplier. Implementing the PTC default rates is overseen by PA PUC as these repesent generation supply costs that are passed directly through DLC onto consumers without mark up.
Price to Compare (PTC)
The PTC default rate represents the actual price the utility pays for the electricity. It includes not only the price to generate the electricity but also the cost to transmit it from power stations over high tension power lines to Duquesne Light Company's local electrical switch yards. From there, the electricity is distributed throughout the DLC local electrical grid for delivery to homes.
Each utility's PTC rates are determined every few years during auctions to line up generation supplies covering specific delivery periods. Consequently, Duquesne Light's PTC rates change every 6 months on June 1 and December 1. That means these electricity rates can vary seasonally; low some months, higher the next.
Duquesne Light Company Current PTC Residential Rate: 9.360 cents per kWh, expires 11/30/2022
NOTE: There are approximately thirty-five borough-owned public power systems in Pennsylvania. These purchase energy for their local residents. Many prohibit residents from shopping for their own provider. If you live in one of these communities, check with your local government to learn more.
How Much Do DLC PTC Charges Cost?
The Duquesne Light Company PTC rate is a weighted average rate. Business and commercial customers with higher usage have a lower PTC than residential customers. All the same, it's important for all consumers to know and understand how much they are paying for their electricity in any one month.
How much is the Duquesne Light PTC rate?
The DOE EIA estimates that the average Pennsylvania residence uses an average of 864 kWh each month. Therefore, an average PTC bill roughly breaks down like this:
|Rate per 864 kWh Used||Monthly Customer Charge||Total|
|PTC Supply Rate||9.360 cents||0||$80.87|
|Monthly Distribution Charges (excluding riders)||$0.060233 per kWh||$12.50||$64.54|
Understand Pennsylvania Energy Choice
Pennsylvania electric consumers are free to choose their own competitive retail electricity supplier. These alternative suppliers shop deals with different producers on the wholesale market to offer competitive rates. As such, their rates are not controlled by PAPUC the same way that utilities are. This way, retail suppliers are able to offer competitively priced fixed rate plans for a variety of term lengths.
Though it can seem confusing, shopping electricity plans is an easy process. The trick is finding the one that meets your needs. That's why retail energy suppliers in Pennsylvania offer two types of plans:
Your Energy Usage and Understanding Your Duquesne Light Bill
While your energy usage habits are unique to you, any Pennsylvania native will tell you that winters can be bitterly cold and summers can be hazy, humid, and hot. While most PA homes rely on natural gas for heating, roughly 1.6 million (29%) of homes in the state use electricity.
Want to learn more about your home energy usage? Duquesne Light Company customers can track 12 months of their electric usage plus other relevant information on each monthly bill.
The most effective way to cut your energy bills is to reduce your usage by sealing your doors and windows against winter and summer drafts. Adding insulation to your attic, sealing and insulating your basement, and purchasing a programmable or smart thermostat may also improve your home's energy efficiency and help cut your electric bills. Your utility company can provide a wealth of resources and may offer programs to help you improve your home's energy performance.
Understand Your Duquesne Light Bill
Your DLC bill contains many details that can be confusing to customers. But there's lots of useful information to help you better understand your usage and rate. Below, we break down the most important items on a sample Duquesne Light Company Electric bill.
DLC Sample Bill
- A: These areas show the bill due date and the amount due. You can also find the monthly account summary showing the date the statement was prepared, the previous balance and payments made, any balance still pending, and the current month's delivery and supply charges. At the bottom is the detatchable mail-in payment stub containing the same info as well as your 10 digit DLC account number.
- B: This shows the customer name and mailing address, and the 10-digit DLC account number.
- C: Here you can see the break down of your usage history which shows a comparison of your electricity usage for the year to date. You can also see the total usage in kWh for the year and the average monthly usage.
- D: The Message Center shows important information and announcments from Duquesne Light.
- E: On Page 2, you'll find information on how to contact Duquesne Light for questions about your account as well as for billing and service options.
- F: This section explains the various charges to your Duquesne Light account, including customer charges, distribtuion charges, DLC charges, etc.
- G: Page 3 opens with a detailed break down of charges to your account. It shows meter reading information for prior and current reads.
- H: The current bill details section shows the DLC service type and the current PTC rate.
- I: This section explains your DLC Charges, including the customer charge and distribution charges. It shows the amount of your usage and the rate you are charged in kWh.
- J: Here you can see your current supply charges from your retail supplier. It shows the amount of your usage and the rate you are charged in kWh.
- K: In order to switch to a new retail electricity provider, you'll need to provide them with your 10 digit supplier agreement ID number. This is different from your DLC account number.
- L: This section lists the name and contact information for your current retail supplier.
DLC Coupons, Energy Promotions, Discounts, Rebates and Promo Codes
As your local electric utility, Duquesne Light offers several rebate and energy efficiency programs to help customers save money off their monthly bill by upgrading their home's energy performance. Some programs also offer money-saving incentives while others could make paying your monthly bills much easier during those expensive winter months.
|Program Name||Program Type||Benefit|
|Watt Choices Program||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
Duquesne Light is offering residential customers rebates for a wide range of energy-saving products including HVAC, appliances, water heating, insulation, smart thermostats, and smart surge protectors. Rebates are issued in the form of a prepaid card.
Visit the DLC Energy Rebates website.
|Watt Choices Program -- EnergyInsights ONLINE ENERGY AUDIT||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
Active Duquesne Light residential customers who click on Detailed Analysis button and complete the EnergyInsights Audit will receive a free Energy Efficiency Kit through the mail.
Enter your 10 digit account number to get started. Visit the DLC Energy Rebates website.
|Watt Choices Program -- DLC WHOLE HOUSE ENERGY AUDIT||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
This is a professional audit with $435 fee that also includes installation of LED bulbs, LED nightlights, smart power strips, and additional energy-saving equipment. Watt Choices reduces the cost through rebates up to $250 on recommended installed measures. If your household meets income-eligibility guidelines, you will receive the audit at no charge. Call 1-888-998-9478 to schedule an appointment.
|DLC Payment Arrangements||Bill payment assistance||
DLC offers payment arrangements to allow residential customers to pay their account balance in monthly installments. These installments are billed along with your current monthly charges and both must be paid on time, in full each month.
|Smart Comfort||Residential Energy Efficiency||
Helps eligible DLC customers reduce their electric bills through home weatherization and conservation. You must meet at least one of the following three criteria:
|Medical Certificate||Bill payment assistance||
This will delay termination of service for up to 30 days if you are eligible for a medical certificate or renewal, and if you or anyone living in your home is seriously ill. A licensed physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner must notify Duquesne Light in writing.
|LIHEAP Cash and Crisis Grants||Bill payment assistance||
LIHEAP usually opens in early November and closes in early April. The program is available to eligible customers whose income is 150% of the Federal Poverty Level or below.
|Dollar Energy Fund||Bill payment assistance||
Duquesne Light partners with Dollar Energy Fund to provide help to limited-income households.
|DLC Customer Assistance & Referral Evaluation Service (CARES) program||Bill payment assistance||
There are no income guidelines to qualify for the CARES Program. You may qualify for CARES if you:
|DLC's Customer Assistance Program (CAP)||Bill payment assistance||
DLC's Customer Assistance Program (CAP) is open to eligible customers whose income is 150% of the Federal Poverty Level or below. To apply. Customers will need to supply the following information:
Program benefits include reduced monthly payments, debt forgiveness, information about your electric use, and more.
Read DLC Reviews
Since Duquesne Light serves a large eastern market segment, Pittsburgh area residential customers can get a better picture of how good a job it does by comparing it to to other large-scale utilities. Duquesne Light Company is not accredited with the BBB but was well-rated in J.D. Power's 2021 utility residential customer satisfaction study. The utility also rated well in Escalent's 2021 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential study.
|PA Energy Ratings Score||Better Business Bureau||J.D. Power 2021 Electricity Utility Study||Escalent 2021 Utility Study|
of 1000 pts
of 1000 pts
How Do I Get the Cheapest DLC Rate?
Shopping for a new DLC Customer Choice Plan can seem bewildering at first. Once you understand how it works, though, it's an easy and straightforward process. That said, you should have these three things with you when you shop for electricity.
- Your current bill. Your past usage per billing period can help you estimate a how much a plan might cost you each month.
- The current DLC PTC and expiration date. Knowing the current DLC supply price lets you compare rates offered by retail energy suppliers. This way, you can get a better feel for what suppliers are offering, for how long, and if any of their incentives make their price work for your family's need.
- Your Duquesne Light Company of Pennsylvania customer account number. This 10 digit number is located on your bill. Having it handy lets you sign up with a retail supplier right away.
Duquesne Light Shopping Questions
The best way for a PA energy customer to avoid making a bad choice is to ask the right questions. That way, you can learn exactly the information that can save you money. When you shop for electricity service in Pennsylvania, always be sure to ask these important questions:
- Is the rate variable or is it fixed?
- How long does the plan last?
- Is the rate competitive with the current DLC supply rate?
- What happens when the contract expires?
- Does the plan include any recurring monthly charges?
- Does the plan have an early cancellation fee?
- Does the supplier offer any customer incentives or rewards programs?
More Commonly Asked Pennsylvania Electricity Questions:
Who bills me? DLC sends a single bill that outlines and adds up your monthly charges.
What are the Terms of Service? In PA, Customer Choice Plans must include Terms of Service that explain and identify specific charges and any fees a customer will face when they sign up for an electricity plan. Not all suppliers have the same terms. That's why all Pennsylvania energy choice customers should read and understand the terms of service and contract summary for any plan they are interested in before they sign on to the plan.
What are early termination fees? Switching retail suppliers before a contract ends can involve paying early termination fees. These can take a big chomp out of your checking account you if choose to switch retail providers before your plan contract ends.
Where can I find more information on my usage? DLC customers can request 12 months of their energy usage free of charge. This is most easily available through your DLC online account.
Compare Electricity in Your Area
Bill Questions? Electricity Out? Contact DLC!
Having problems or interruptions with your Duquesne Light Company electricity? Here's the proper people to call:
- For Billing problems - First thing to do is contact Duquesne Light Company. If you have trouble paying your monthly bill call Duquesne Light Company's Customer Service: 1-412-393-7100. Have your account number ready.
- Need extra time to pay your energy bill? Customers can apply to the Customer Assistance Program (CAP) by calling Customer Service or by applying on-line.
Emergencies and Outages
All power transmission lines are extremely dangerous! Never attempt to move a downed power line by yourself. Call 911 and then notifiy Duquesne Light Company.
- Report safety hazards involving power lines immediately to DLC at 877-4OUTAGE (877-468-8243).
- You can also report downed lines or outages at DLC's website
- Check Duquesne Light Company's current electric outages as they are being repaired.
Duquesne Light Company Service Area Providers
|Provision Power & Gas||
|NextEra Energy Services||
|Santanna Energy Services||
|American Power & Gas||
|866 682 9816|
|National Gas & Electric||
|Sunwave Gas & Power||
Pennsylvania Zip Codes with the Cheapest Electricity Rates
The Latest DLC News
Duquesne Light Company to Raise Business RatesEnergy prices are still increasing. With DLC hiking the PTC rate for Pittsburgh businesses, find out what an increase for residential rates might... [read more]
Electricity Plan in DLC TerritoryMoney's tight! Don't pay higher DLC PTC rates! Lock in a low rate when you shop for a fixed rate electricity plan!Saving money this year is getting a lot... [read more]
Cheap Pittsburgh Long Term Electric RatesThe spring shoulder months have arrived and rates will dip for only a little while before summer air conditioning demand pushes them back up. Shop these... [read more]