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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)


Ready to start enjoying reliable, efficient natural gas at your home or business? Have questions about opening a natural gas account or taking advantage of equipment rebates? Take a look at the list of Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) in the tabs below.  

Can't find the information you need? Please contact us
  • How do I recognize a natural gas leak?

    Natural gas is non-toxic, colorless, odorless and combustible. For your safety, we add an unpleasant odorant called mercaptan to natural gas delivered through Washington Gas’ distribution system. Mercaptan gives natural gas a strong, unpleasant odor so you will be able to detect escaping natural gas.  Visit our Natural Gas Safety page to learn how to recognize, react and respond to a natural gas leak.
  • What are the other signs of a natural gas leak?

    Follow natural gas leak precautions if you:

    • Are outside and smell gas
    • Hear hissing or blowing noises
    • See dirt being thrown into the air
    • See fire coming from the ground or appearing to burn above ground
    • See water bubbling or being blown into the air at a pond, creek or river
    • See a dry spot in a moist field
    • See dead or dying vegetation on or near a pipeline right-of-way
  • What should I do if I smell gas?

    If you smell natural gas, do not attempt to locate the source of the odor. Evacuate the area immediately and call 911 and 844-WASHGAS (844-927-4427) from a safe location -- selecting option 1 to reach the Emergency Leak Line.
  • Is it possible for natural gas to enter my home when I don’t have gas?

    We distribute natural gas through a network of underground pipes and service lines. If a leak should occur, it is possible for gas to migrate into buildings, including those without natural gas service.

  • What should I do if I see suspicious activity involving a Washington Gas meter?

    Tampering with a natural gas meter is illegal and dangerous. The natural gas meter at your home -- whether located inside or outside -- belongs to Washington Gas. Call our Gas Theft Hotline at 703-750-4570 if you see suspicious activity involving a Washington Gas meter.

  • Who do I call before digging in my yard or on my job?

    Before you begin any type of excavation, from planting in your garden to major renovations, call 811 – at least two full business/working days – before you are scheduled to do any digging to have the underground utility lines marked in your yard or on your job.

    Learn more about pipeline damage prevention and safe digging practices.

  • How do I get gas service to my commercial project?

    To get started on the process of including natural gas to your commercial project, visit the add or replace equipment page on the “Business Owners” section of the website

    Or contact:

    David Shults 

    Commercial Account Manager

    dshults@washgas.com

  • What is the Multifamily Incentive Program?

    The Washington Gas Multifamily Incentive Program was created to help lower first costs for builders and developers who choose efficient, comfortable, safe and reliable natural gas as the primary energy solution in multifamily projects.  Property owners and managers of existing complexes with either full electricity or single‑building gas meter(s) can also benefit from the program by converting their building(s) to individual tenant-controlled natural gas meters.

    Before you build your next multifamily project or retrofit your existing apartment building(s), consider partnering with Washington Gas. Your project may be eligible to receive a contribution to offset the cost of installing gas piping from the outlet of each meter to every residence. Reimbursement amounts will vary by project, up to the actual cost of installing the gas piping. In some cases, the contribution your project is eligible to receive may cover your internal piping cost completely.

  • How do I get gas service to my large residential project?

    If you have a residential project with three or more homes and you’re interested in natural gas, contact us to discuss your project’s energy needs, provide you with customized cost-saving solutions and move you through each phase of the process to get your project sold.

  • What is the Distributed Meter Room (DMR) Program?

    The Distributed Meter Room (DMR) program applies new technology to lower the upfront cost of including natural gas in the construction of high-rise multifamily apartments and condominiums. The design locates the meters in central gas meter rooms of high-rise multifamily buildings, resulting in cost reductions for gas piping for project owners. Washington Gas covers the cost for piping and maintenance up to and including the natural gas meter.

    This solution is available for use in both new construction and retrofit high-rise (five stories or greater above finished grade) multifamily buildings.

    However, if your project has fewer stories, Washington Gas’ Engineered Sales Team will evaluate your project to determine if the DMR is still feasible or will create the next best natural gas configuration for optimal cost savings. For more information on the DMR program contact:

     

    Rob Postell

    Manager Sales Engineering & Technical Solutions

    rpostell@washgas.com

  • How do I get natural gas service to my multifamily project?

    To learn more about including natural gas in your multifamily project, contact:

     

    Mary Doherty

    Multifamily Account Manager

    mdoherty@washgas.com

  • Does Washington Gas offer cost savings programs/solutions to multifamily builders, developers and owners?

    Yes. Washington Gas’ offers several cost savings programs for multifamily builders and owners such as, The Multifamily Incentive Program, Distributed Meter Room (DMR) Program, Manufacturer discounts, complimentary design service and more. For more information, visit the “Multifamily” page in the “Builders & Contractors” section of the website or call:

     

    Mary Doherty

    Multifamily Account Manager

    mdoherty@washgas.com

  • I am demolishing an existing building and need to have the natural gas service abandoned. Who do I contact for assistance?

    Complete the Gas Service Abandonment/Demolition Request form.   Complete instructions can be found in the Business Owners section of the website on the Disconnect Service webpage.

  • What is combined heat and power (CHP) and who can assist me with including it in my project?

    Combined heat and power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, is a form of distributed power generation.  This technology is essentially the simultaneous production of electricity and thermal energy (heating and/or cooling) from a single source of energy, usually natural gas.  For assistance contact:

    Jennifer Eugene

    Sales Manager

    jeugene@washgas.com  

  • What is the Eco-Builder Program and how do I participate?

    The Eco-Builder Program is a set of customizable marketing tools to help you market your project, reach new customers, and boost sales. Better still, these tools are available to you at no charge, provided that your project includes natural gas heating and water heating.

     

    Think of the Eco-Builder Program as an extension to your existing marketing efforts: we will work with you to create marketing materials that are consistent with your current branding strategy, while promoting the benefits of natural gas that your property offers.

     

    Visit the large residential services page for more information. 

  • What role does Washington Gas play in supporting economic development in the Washington D.C. region?

    WGL’s (the parent company of Washington Gas) economic development initiative is focused on supporting regional growth and prosperity through the improvement of our region’s energy security, infrastructure, transportation, housing and economic resiliency. WGL believes that a robust natural gas infrastructure provided by Washington Gas is critical to meeting these needs.

  • How do I get natural gas service to my project of only 1 or 2 homes?

    If you have a residential project with less than 3 homes and want to include natural gas in your project, call 703-941-HEAT (4328) or email 941sales@washgas.com to speak to a sales representative to request new service.

  • How much will it cost to serve my project natural gas?

    There are several factors involved in determining the cost, if any, to bring natural gas to your project. You can learn more by contacting the one of the following based on the type of project you want to serve. 

    Residential projects of 1 or 2 homes: 703-941-HEAT (4328)

    Multifamily:

    Mary Doherty

    Multifamily Account Manager

    mdoherty@washgas.com

     

    Commercial:

     

    David Shults 

    Commercial Account Manager

    dshults@washgas.com

  • Does Washington Gas provide construction heating?

    Yes. With natural gas construction heating, you save time and effort by avoiding the inconvenience of scheduling propane deliveries and continually moving propane tanks back and forth, floor to floor, to heat your work site. No more lost time, manpower or money.

  • What is a split meter?

    When adding a gas appliance to your project, your contractor may request for Washington Gas to install a split meter. In this application, Washington Gas would install a new meter (or reinstall the old meter) and two regulators to provide 2PSIG pressure to the new appliances and 7 inches water column pressure to the existing appliances.

    When & Why Contractors would use a Split Meter

    1. It can be cheaper and easier to run new gas piping from the meter than teeing off the existing house piping system.

    2. The existing low-pressure house piping system is inadequately sized for handling the additional load of a new gas appliance.

    3. The new gas appliance may require a higher gas pressure that can be delivered by the existing system, thus making the split-meter the only feasible system to install.

    Click here to get the form.

     
  • Who can participate in the Customer Choice Program?

    All customers in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia are eligible to participate.
  • When can I participate in the Customer Choice Program?

    Enrollment is open every month throughout the year.
  • How do I participate?

    If you are considering participating in the Customer Choice Program, you may want to contact several suppliers. In some instances, suppliers already may have contacted you with information -- using advertising, direct mail, personal contact or other customary means to promote their services.

    As with other important consumer purchases, make sure to shop around and compare prices and services. Talk with energy suppliers about their qualifications, price offers and fees, contract requirements and billing procedures.

    If you decide to buy your natural gas from an energy supply company other than Washington Gas, you will be asked to sign a consent form authorizing the supplier to enroll you in the Customer Choice Program.

  • Do retail energy supply companies and their sales representatives work for Washington Gas, the utility?

    No. Retail energy suppliers are in business to compete against one another to sell you natural gas and other energy products and services.

    Washington Gas is the regulated utility and is responsible for the following:

    1. Providing the gas supply or commodity to any customer who does not choose to buy from a retail energy supplier.
    2. Providing safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to all of its customers and responding around the clock to any natural gas emergency.
    3. Reading customers' meters and providing billing services.
    4.  Reviewing retail energy suppliers' qualifications and imposing specifications on their participation in the Customer Choice Program as appropriate. *

    *Only applicable in Maryland and Virginia.

  • What will the energy supply company charge me?

    Remember that energy supply companies are competing against one another for your business, so it is likely that their prices and services will differ. Be sure to ask which charges are included in the price that a supplier quotes and ask about any additional fees or charges not included.
  • How do I compare prices?

    When you obtain suppliers' prices, ask whether the price includes the balancing charge, a fee to help ensure adequate supply. Washington Gas' price already includes this charge, and you will want to make accurate comparisons.
  • As a consumer, how am I protected?

    Consumer protection standards are in place. The natural gas is delivered to you through the Washington Gas distribution system. In the unlikely event that an energy supply company exits the program, Washington Gas makes sure you receive the gas you need.

    *Only applicable in Washington, D.C.

  • Questions to Ask Energy Supply Companies

    Licensing

    • For customers in Washington, D.C.: Are you licensed by the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia to sell natural gas in Washington, D.C.?
    • For customers in Maryland: Have you been approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission to sell natural gas in Maryland?
    • For customers in Virginia: Have you been approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission to sell natural gas in Virginia?


    Pricing

    • Do you offer a fixed price or does the price change?
    • If it is a fixed price, for how long do you guarantee it?
    • If it is a variable price and not fixed, then how often does the price change?
    • Is the price dependent upon how much natural gas I use?
    • Does your price include balancing and interstate transportation charges?


    Additional Fees

    • Is there an enrollment fee?
    • Is there a fee if I cancel my contract early?
    • Are there any other additional fees?


    Agreements

    • What do I have to sign?
    • What is the length of my contract?
    • What happens when it expires?
    • What happens if I cancel the contract?


    Billing

    • How will I be billed: one bill or two separate bills?
    • Do you offer a budget plan or any other billing services or options?