Washington Gas announced today that its customers could expect a 20
percent increase in heating bills over last winter due to last year's
mild winter weather. Natural gas prices may vary if temperatures are
colder than anticipated and create an increased demand for natural gas.
With an anticipated return to normal weather this winter, resulting in
increased usage and higher bills, Washington Gas encourages customers to
prepare accordingly for the heating season.
"We are committed to providing safe, reliable natural gas service to
communities across the region while ensuring that our customers have the
energy answers they need to stay warm this winter," said Adrian Chapman,
President and Chief Operating Officer at Washington Gas. "Throughout the
summer and fall, we have filled our natural gas storage services. These
services are essential to meeting winter demand. We also maintain access
to a diverse set of natural gas supply points to cost effectively serve
our customers' needs under all weather conditions."
As utility bills can be hard to navigate, Washington Gas encourages
customers to ask any questions that they have when bills arrive. In
short, bills have three components:
The gas supplied to the customer (calculated and noted in "therms"
in the Purchased Gas Charge section of the bill)
The cost of delivering the gas (labeled the Distribution Charge), and
The system charge, a fixed monthly amount that covers certain costs of
providing natural gas service, such as maintenance and repair of
As a regulated utility, Washington Gas charges customers the same price
that the company pays for the natural gas supply, transportation and
storage. Taxes or other fees levied by state and local governments are
also included as separate line items on the bill.
Customers will see a fluctuation in their bill amounts as seasons
change, with more energy from natural gas being used in the coldest
months of winter. So, as colder weather approaches, Washington Gas
continues to encourage customers to prepare their homes by taking simple
steps now to help manage energy costs and stay safe, warm and
energy-smart when temperatures start to drop:
Change or clean your furnace or air filters once a month, and schedule
an annual furnace or boiler check-up with a licensed professional.
Caulk and weather strip around doors and windows.
Install rubber gaskets behind outlet and switch plates.
Check dampers in unused fireplaces, and close them if they are open.
Turn the water heater down to warm or low settings, never more than
120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash full loads of laundry in cold water, using specially-formulated
cold water detergents.
Consider installing new, high-efficiency appliances and look for the ENERGY
STAR label for efficiency ratings.
Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat, which automatically
lowers the temperature setting at night and increases the setting
during the day.
At Washington Gas, safety is the number one priority. That is why it is
particularly important that customers are aware of a winter hazard and
what to do about it. Washington Gas strongly encourages anyone who
smells gas to move to a safe location and call 911 and the Washington
Gas emergency line at 703-750-1400.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas, created when
fossil fuels are not burned completely. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission recommends putting CO detectors outside the bedrooms in each
separate sleeping area of your home. Also recommended is the
installation of smoke alarms on each level of your residence and inside
every bedroom. For both types of devices, check batteries monthly and
replace them at least twice a year.
Washington Gas offers several payment plans and services to help manage
energy costs. For those customers having difficulty paying their natural
gas bills, contact Washington Gas as soon as possible to learn about
alternative payment plans that may be available. Plans include:
The Washington Gas Budget Plan: This plan allows eligible
customers to spread the cost of winter heating over the entire year.
It helps to minimize the impact of typically higher seasonal bills and
provides greater flexibility in managing a household budget. The
Budget Plan is designed as a 12-month program, and we encourage
customers to stay on it year-round to realize the potential benefits.
Customer Choice: This is an option for customers to buy their
natural gas from a licensed energy supply company other than
Washington Gas. Regardless of which company sells you natural gas,
Washington Gas will continue to deliver the gas safely and reliably to
your home through its distribution system, address your customer needs
and respond around the clock to natural gas emergencies. For more
information, visit washingtongas.com,
place your cursor over MY ACCOUNT and click on Customer
The Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF): Founded by Washington Gas
and administered by The Salvation Army, WAFF helps families who do not
qualify for, or who have exhausted, government energy assistance. WAFF
provides funds for all types of fuel to heat families' homes during
the winter heating season. Washington Gas pays the administrative fees
of the fund so 100 percent of WAFF donations go directly to those who
need assistance. For more information or to apply for assistance,
contact The Salvation Army at 888-318-WAFF (9233) or visit washingtonareafuelfund.org.
Further, if a customer or someone they know is having difficulty paying
a natural gas bill in the District of Columbia, they can also contact
of Energy & Environment (DOEE) at 311 or online to determine
eligibility for the following program:
Residential Essential Service (RES) Program: Eligible
Washington, D.C. residents may qualify for a discount on a portion of
the natural gas they use during the winter heating season from
November 1 to April 30. To be eligible for the RES discount, residents
must use natural gas as the principal source for home heating and be
certified by DOEE as eligible for the federal Low Income Home Energy
Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Once certified, eligible customers may
participate in the RES program for one heating season and must reapply
For additional information about energy assistance, the budget plan,
energy efficiency, safety and more, visit washingtongas.com.
About Washington Gas
Washington Gas Light Company is a regulated natural gas utility
providing safe, reliable natural gas service to more than 1.1 million
customers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. A
subsidiary of WGL Holdings, Inc. (WGL), the company has been providing
energy to residential, commercial and industrial customers for 168 years.
WGL (NYSE: WGL), headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a leading source
for clean, efficient and diverse energy solutions. With activities and
assets across the U.S., WGL consists of Washington Gas, WGL Energy, WGL
Midstreamand Hampshire Gas. WGL provides options for natural gas,
electricity, green power and energy services, including generation,
storage, transportation, distribution, supply and efficiency. Our
calling as a company is to make energy surprisingly easy for our
employees, our community and all our customers. Whether you are a
homeowner or renter, small business or multinational corporation, state
and local or federal agency, WGL is here to provide Energy Answers. Ask
Us. For more information, visit us at wgl.com.
View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161101005105/en/
Bernie Tylor, 202-624-6778
Douglas Bonawitz, 202-624-6129
Source: Washington Gas
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