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Company COVID-19 Response from Washington Gas President Blue Jenkins

Blue Jenkins, AltaGas’ Executive Vice President & President and Utilities and President of Washington Gas, shares the company response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As of April 24, 2020

Dear Customer:

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to disrupt our lives in so many ways, all of us at Washington Gas want you to know that we are here to serve and support you. We will get through this, together.

Our country is several weeks into the pandemic and we at Washington Gas are working every day and every night as an essential service provider to make sure our customers have the natural gas service necessary to heat their homes and cook their meals, all while ensuring safety and reliability every step of the way.

As a reminder, work performed at this time continues to be limited to critical maintenance, construction and emergency response which requires us to be out in the field. Our crews practice safe social distancing and follow other safety precautionary measures while on the job to protect you (our neighbors) and our onsite team. We ask you to give our crews the space they need to work by maintaining appropriate distance from them at all times (6 feet or more).

In addition, to alleviate the stress of payment and billing challenges customers may be experiencing during this public health crisis, our commitment to waive late payment fees, suspend disconnections and offer payment arrangements remains in effect until we get past this crisis.

Washington Gas is also proceeding with new service connections for customers who have moved into homes or are installing gas service. However, there may be delays in our turnaround for processing these order requests due to workforce availability and prioritizing assignments. We appreciate your patience.

 

Supporting our Communities

As this pandemic increases our customers’ need for relief, we are pleased to do our part. Our parent company, AltaGas, has pledged $1 million across all of its companies to support essential community needs. We are already at work to distribute support to organizations like United Way National Capital Region; Greater Washington Community Foundation; Community Foundation for Northern Virginia; DC Central Kitchen; Mary’s Center; Shepherd’s Table; United

Communities Against Poverty; and AARP (DC region). We are proud to assist these giving groups to cover costs for food services, health care, shelter and COVID-related safety protection at this critical time. Washington Gas also continues to offer financial assistance through its Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF), a program created with The Salvation Army that has helped families in need pay their heating bills for 37 years.

Moving forward, we will continue to stay connected with our customers to inform you of the latest information, provide access to resources and offer assistance. We encourage you to visit our COVID-19 web page for timely updates and developments.

We have called the DC-area home for more than 171 years and we have always been there to support our community through good times and bad. We know that if we remain united and support each other, we will emerge from the pandemic even stronger.

It is a privilege to serve you every day.

Sincerely,

Blue Jenkins, President
Washington Gas

 

Here are updates and reminders about our ongoing efforts to better serve you.

We Continue to Waive Service Fees and Suspend Disconnections Washington Gas continues to suspend disconnections and waive late fees on customer bills until we get past this crisis. Note that these actions are automatically in place and do not need to be requested.

 

Call Center Priorities, Online Options – Help Us Serve You

While customer service remains a priority, you may experience longer than normal hold times. We ask that you call us only if absolutely necessary. We are limiting our service orders to emergencies and service turn-on requests only and deferring routine service visits at this time.

Most billing-related inquiries can be managed online where you can easily pay your bill and access the latest information on your account and view the latest updates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We encourage all customers to sign up for our free, E-bill service, which is also accessible at www.eservice.washgas.com.

For your convenience, more information about customer payment options and payment assistance is included below.

 

Safe Social Distancing for Our Work Crews

Our crews follow precautionary protocols when performing work on location. Most of the infrastructure work we perform in your neighborhood does not require entry into the home and should not result in an interruption of service. When inside work is required, to protect our technicians, we ask that you let us know if anyone in your home is ill before we arrive.

 

How to Avoid Scams

We advise customers to be on alert for scams targeting utility customers. Scams during the pandemic are on the rise as people are feeling vulnerable about their financial circumstances. A typical scam is a message that demands a customer pay their gas bill immediately or their natural gas service will be disconnected. Such calls are not from Washington Gas. Also, Washington Gas does not communicate with customers via text message, so please disregard texts about your gas bill and do not provide information in response. Finally, Washington Gas does not market its gas service through phone calls or texts. Communications pretending to be from Washington Gas actually come from scammers or unscrupulous gas suppliers. Please ignore them. Visit our Tips to Avoid Scams page for more information.

 

Emergency Calls – Available 24 hours-a-day/7-DAYS A WEEK

As always, if you think you smell gas or are experiencing a natural gas-related emergency at any time, please call 911 and then call us at 1-844-WASHGAS (927-4427). We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to emergency calls.

 

Payment Assistance Available for Customers in Need

As the pandemic is greatly increasing the need for assistance, there are many resources in place to help. Visit our web page to learn more.

Note: Eligibility for most programs are based on household size and total household income, and other factors may apply depending on the program.

  • DC: If you or someone you know resides in the District of Columbia is having difficulty paying a natural gas bill, please contact the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) at 311 or online to determine eligibility.
  • Prince George’s County: If you reside in Prince George’s County and require assistance paying your natural gas bill, please call the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services at 301-909-7000.
  • DC, Maryland or Virginia:
    LIHEAP, or Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, is a federal government program that provides energy funding assistance to low-income households across the U.S. Washington Gas is currently working with LIHEAP to determine what funds are potentially available to its customers impacted by the Coronavirus. The program is run on a first come-first served basis. Please visit: the website.
  • WAFF, or Washington Area Fuel Fund, was created by Washington Gas and The Salvation Army to help families in need pay their heating bills. Utility assistance is available regardless of the type of fuel used to heat a home. That means residents do not have to be customers to receive assistance and, in general, a family of four earning up to $75,050 could be eligible. Anyone seeking to receive funds from WAFF can fill out the application online through May 31.

 

Additional Information & Reminders: Payment Plans, Options to Pay Your Bill

  • Customers can visit www.washingtongas.com and select “pay bill” to view and pay a bill or request payment arrangements. Customers can also visit our e-service portal directly.
  • Budget plans are available for customers to spread the cost of their energy bill, apply discounts, use deferred payment options, or receive funds to supplement government energy assistance, among other options. Visit our Payment Assistance page for a list of payment assistance plans.

 

Payment options 24 x 7 that are free, fast, easy and secure

A list is available online on our Payment Options page
• Automated Payment Plan − the easiest way to pay your bill. Get more information or sign up today at washingtongas.com.
• Online − pay your bill online anytime, day or night a www.eservice.washgas.com. Enroll to receive electronic bill notifications which include our 1-click payment option and ask for services.
• 7-Eleven − you can also make quick and easy cash payments at any local 7-Eleven store by using the bar code located on the back of your Washington Gas bill. If you don’t have your bill handy, you can obtain an EZ-Payslip by visiting us online at washingtongas.com/paybycash.
• Phone − pay your gas bill over the phone by check, credit or debit card by calling 703-750-7944.
• Mail − send your check (made payable to Washington Gas) with your remittance stub to Washington Gas, PO Box 37747, Philadelphia, PA 19101-5047.

 

For more information, please refer to the most recent Company FAQ which addresses common questions and concerns.

 

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