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Washington Gas Expects Winter Bills to Increase and Encourages Customers to be Prepared for Heating Season

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 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 weatherization tips.

"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.

Always Safe

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 gas.

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:

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.

Payment Plans

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:

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.

About WGL

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.

Washington Gas
News Media:
Bernie Tylor, 202-624-6778
Financial Community:
Douglas Bonawitz, 202-624-6129

Source: Washington Gas

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