Washington Gas Expects Increase in Winter Heating Bills and Encourages Customers to Prepare for Heating Season
Washington Gas announced today that its customers could expect a 10-20
percent increase in winter heating bills compared with last winter's
bills. The increase is attributed predominantly to a significantly
higher consumption forecast, based on normal weather instead of the
record warmer-than-normal 2011-2012 winter. The increase is
somewhat mitigated by slightly lower forecasted gas prices. Prices may
vary if colder-than-expected temperatures result in an increased demand
for natural gas.
"In order to assist our customers in managing utility costs, Washington
Gas seeks to provide them with a realistic expectation at the beginning
of the winter heating season. Last year, we experienced an unusually
warm winter resulting in lower demand for natural gas and, in general,
lower customer bills," said Adrian Chapman, president and chief
operating officer of Washington Gas. "During the summer we purchase and
store a significant portion of our natural gas winter supply, in
anticipation of colder weather. Historically, the price for natural gas
during the summer is lower than during the winter months, which enables
Washington Gas to safeguard customers from the affect of seasonal
Gas supply costs — the amount Washington Gas pays to acquire natural gas
and have the gas delivered to the system — make up approximately 52
percent of the average customer's heating bill. This price appears on
the customer's bill as the per "therm" charge. As a regulated utility,
Washington Gas does not charge customers more than the same price that
the company pays for the gas supply. The rest of a customer's bill
consists of distribution costs, taxes or other fees levied by state and
As colder weather approaches, Washington Gas continues to encourage all
customers to prepare their homes for the winter heating season by
practicing energy efficiency, including the following low-cost or
Change or clean furnace/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.
Turn the water heater down to warm or low settings, never more than
120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash full loads of laundry and dishes.
Use cold water for laundry using specially formulated cold-water
Consider installing new, high-efficiency appliances.
Look for the ENERGY STAR energy-efficient product label.
Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat, which automatically
lowers the temperature setting at night and increases the setting
during the day.
For those customers having difficulty paying their gas bills, Washington
Gas recommends the following options:
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. If
customers are having difficulty paying winter heating bills, they
should call Washington Gas at 703-750-1000 as soon as possible
to discuss any concerns or billing issues.
Customer Choice: This is an option for customers to buy their
natural gas from an energy company other than Washington Gas. They can
and click on Customer Information then Customer Choice.
Regardless of which company sells natural gas to customers, Washington
Gas will deliver it and respond to gas emergencies around the clock.
The Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF): Founded in 1983 by
Washington Gas, WAFF is a financial assistance program that helps
families who do not qualify for, or who have exhausted, government
energy assistance. Administered by The Salvation Army, WAFF provides
funds for all types of fuel to heat families' homes in the winter. To
date, the program has disbursed over $22 million in funds to help more
than 255,000 residents in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region.
For more information on WAFF, please visit washingtonareafuelfund.org.
For information about energy assistance, the budget plan, energy
efficiency, safety and more, go to washingtongas.com.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., WGL Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: WGL) has
four operating segments: (i) the regulated utility segment, which
primarily consists of Washington Gas, a natural gas utility that serves
over one million customers throughout metropolitan Washington, D.C., and
the surrounding region; (ii) the retail energy-marketing segment
which consists of Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc., a third-party
marketer that competitively sells natural gas and electricity; (iii) the
commercial energy systems segment, which consists of Washington Gas
Energy Systems, Inc., a provider of energy efficiency solutions to
government and commercial clients and (iv) the wholesale energy
solutions segment, which consists of Capitol Energy Ventures Corp., a
non-utility asset optimization business.
Additional information about WGL Holdings, Inc. is available on its
Go to washingtongas.com
for more information about Washington Gas Light Company.
Douglas Bonawitz, 202-624-6129
Source: Washington Gas
News Provided by Acquire Media