Washington Gas Offers Options for Customers Experiencing High Bills from Increased Energy Usage Due to Extreme Cold Weather
Washington Gas announced today a new payment option for customers
experiencing high bills from the recent extreme cold temperatures.
Active residential customers with gas bills currently up to $500 past
due may request to have these amounts billed over a 6-month period.
Customers may be placed on a budget plan, based on previous yearly gas
consumption. This new budget amount with the deferred bill should result
in a lower monthly bill recognized.
"Washington Gas continues to work with our customers by providing
payment arrangements and extensions for those impacted by the extremely
cold weather conditions," said Eric Grant, Washington Gas Vice
President, Corporate Relations. "Our Customer Service department will
escalate any cases where they are unable to negotiate an arrangement
within the existing guidelines. We continue to remind customers that if
they are having financial difficulties, they should contact us early to
set up pay arrangements to avoid service disconnection or any
Customers who may have difficulty paying their gas bills have a number
of additional options available to them,
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.
Request to Pay Your Bill In Installments: Special payment
arrangements may be available and customers can inquire about paying
their bill in monthly installments by contacting the Washington Gas
Automated Services line at 703-750-7944. This request also may be made
through the company's online Customer Service Center at washingtongas.com.
Request A Payment Extension: Washington Gas' Payment Extension
Program can extend the payment due date for some customers, primarily
those whose main source of income is a monthly government or pension
check. To request a 20-day extension, customers should contact
Washington Gas at 703-750-1000.
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.
Additional Energy Assistance Programs: In each of Washington
Gas' service territories, there are a number of energy assistance
programs to help residents who have difficulty paying their energy
bills. These include the District of Columbia Residential Essential
Service Program (RES), the Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP)
and the Virginia Energy Assistance Program (VEAP). Assistance also may
be available through the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance
Program (LIHEAP). Eligibility for these programs is based on a number
of factors. For more information, customers may contact Washington Gas
at 703-750-1000 or visit the Energy Assistance page on the Washington
gas website at: http://www.washingtongas.com/pages/EnergyEfficiencyEnergyAssistance.
Washington Gas communicates with its customers about these programs and
services throughout the year, with an emphasis on providing information
and assistance during the winter heating season. In addition, Washington
Gas encourages customers to practice energy efficiency through a number
of low- or no-cost tips, including:
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.
These and other important energy efficiency, energy assistance and
safety tips are available on the Washington Gas Winter Essentials web
page at: http://www.washingtongas.com/pages/WinterEssentials.
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Douglas Bonawitz, 202-624-6129
Source: Washington Gas
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