Washington Gas Expects Winter Heating Bills to Decrease and Encourages Customers to Prepare for Heating Season
Public Company Information:
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Washington Gas announced today that its customers could expect their upcoming winter heating bills to be lower than those from last year’s winter heating season. Last year’s weather was significantly colder than normal, resulting in higher gas prices. Customer bills for the upcoming winter heating season are expected to be 10-20 percent lower than last year. Prices may vary if colder-than-expected temperatures result in an increased demand for natural gas.
“Washington Gas’ natural gas purchasing strategy continues to keep the company well positioned to take advantage of market developments. In addition, the continuing increase in domestic supplies of natural gas has resulted in a downturn in commodity prices,” said Adrian Chapman, president and chief operating officer at WGL and Washington Gas. “We remind customers that actual usage, outside economic factors and variable winter weather patterns can have an impact on bills and the cost of natural gas.”
Gas supply costs – the amount Washington Gas pays to acquire natural gas and have the gas delivered to the system – make up approximately 50 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 local governments.
Last winter’s polar vortex and remarkably cold weather, created an extremely high demand for natural gas. During that time, Washington Gas’ delivery system and its dedicated employees were able to continue to provide customers with seamless, safe and reliable gas service.
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 no-cost tips:
- 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 detergents.
- 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 visit washingtongas.com 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 $23 million in funds to help more than 260,000 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] is a leading source for clean and efficient energy solutions. Through our affiliates and strategic relationships, the Company offers a diverse set of energy sources including natural gas, wind, and solar as well as a range of energy solutions - generation, storage, transportation, distribution, supply, and efficiency, with activities in 30 states. WGL has five main operating units: Washington Gas Light Company, a regulated natural gas utility serving approximately 1.1 million customers in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area; Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc., one of the largest natural gas, electricity and green energy suppliers in the Mid-Atlantic; Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc., a distributed generation and energy efficiency business, offering solar, fuel cell, combined heat and power, and other technologies across the United States; WGL Midstream, Inc., a wholesale energy solutions business, investing in and optimizing natural gas pipelines and storage facilities in the Midwest and Eastern United States; and Hampshire Gas, a natural gas storage business which owns and operates facilities in and around Hampshire County, West Virginia. As product and service innovation are critical for value creation and sustaining growth, we are continuously increasing our assets and investments in targeted clean energy sectors. This strategy supports WGL's core business, as well as provides opportunity for growth through partnerships and investments. WGL's diversity is its strength. We are dedicated to the sustainability of our business, the customers and communities we serve, and the environment. To learn more, visit www.wglholdings.com.
Ruben Rodriguez, 202-624-6620
Douglas Bonawitz, 202-624-6129