Washington Gas Expects Winter Bills to Increase and Encourages Customers to be Prepared for Heating Season
Washington Gas announced today that customers may experience an increase
of up to 18 percent in heating bills compared to last winter because of
the mild weather last year. Natural gas prices may vary if temperatures
are colder than projected and create an increased demand for natural
gas. With a return to normal weather anticipated this winter, which
could result in increased usage, Washington Gas encourages customers to
prepare themselves for the heating season by following some essential
"We are dedicated to providing natural gas service that is safe and
reliable to communities throughout the region, and that helps our
customers to stay warm during the upcoming winter season," said Adrian
Chapman, President and Chief Operating Officer at Washington Gas. "To
cost-effectively serve our customers under a variety of weather
conditions, we have taken many steps throughout the year, including
filling our natural gas storage services to give us abundant supply as
the colder month's approach. We also have maintained a diverse set of
natural gas supply points so we are fully prepared to serve the needs of
our customers this winter."
"Washington Gas employees are committed to delivering dependable service
to our customers," said Douglas A. Staebler, Senior Vice President,
Utility Operations, Washington Gas. "We are keenly aware of the
importance of the reliability of our service, particularly during the
winter heating season. Our call centers, dispatch team and service crews
operate around the clock, and will continue to remain available and
responsive to customer needs, with safety and reliability as our highest
priorities, to effectively service our customers across the region
throughout the cold months ahead."
Winter Preparation Tips
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. Washington Gas encourages customers to prepare their
homes by taking simple steps now to help manage energy costs and stay
safe, warm and energy-smart when temperatures begin to drop. According
to industry estimates, the typical low-income home saves an average of
25% on energy consumption and saves an average of more than $275
annually in heating and cooling costs after weatherization services.
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. 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 also 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. As a reminder, we add an unpleasant odorant called
mercaptan to natural gas delivered through Washington Gas' distribution
system. Mercaptan gives natural gas a strong, unpleasant odor (like
sulfur or rotten eggs) so you will be able to detect escaping natural
Understanding Your Bill
Since utility bills can be difficult to navigate, Washington Gas
encourages customers to contact us with questions that they have when
bills arrive. In summary bills have three components:
Gas supplied to the customer (calculated and noted in "therms"
in the Purchased Gas Charge section of the bill)
Cost of delivering the gas (labeled the Distribution Charge), and
System charge, a fixed monthly amount that covers certain costs of
providing natural gas service, such as maintenance and repair of
Instructional videos that provide education on how to better understand
your bill can be found on washingtongas.com
(search: Understanding your charges).
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 also
are included as separate line items on the bill.
To help manage energy costs, Washington Gas offers several payment plans
and services. For customers having difficulty paying their natural gas
bills, please 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 that 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 www.waffhelp.org.
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
Midstream and 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/20171023005091/en/
Bernie Tylor, 202-624-6778
Douglas Bonawitz, 202-624-6129
Source: Washington Gas
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