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Happy 175th Birthday Washington Gas

Happy 175th Birthday Washington Gas

We’ve been waiting all year—actually, 175 of them—to observe our quartoseptcentennial anniversary on July 8. This jawbreaker word represents a milestone birthday for our Washington Gas family, and we can’t wait to celebrate our past, present and future in the DMV.

Washington Gas 175th logo overlaid on a fireworks backgroundOur region’s energy needs have morphed dramatically over the past two centuries. In 1848, wood-burning stoves or fireplaces provided the sources for heating and cooking in most households, and coal was used almost exclusively for industrial processes. Gas-lit street lights (hello, WGL!) were starting to line main streets, increasing both public safety and after-dark social life. The thriving city was ready for the advent of gas energy to illuminate homes, businesses and communities.

The demand for reliable energy has only skyrocketed since those earliest days. Washington Gas has remained committed to keeping pace with our region’s needs while simultaneously developing next-generation technologies. Here in 2023, we find ourselves in an exciting world of providing innovative natural gas options as we work to advance the energies of the future.

WAFF Ice House 2023 at The Wharf DCAnd what are these emerging technologies? While the field is broad, you might hear a lot about combined heat and power, renewable natural gas, steam-methane reforming and lower-carbon hydrogen in the near future. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be focusing on how these cutting-edge options may become part of your future energy choices.

The Strength of Our Communities

The value of strong community kinship has also only strengthened since 1848. It has been our honor to serve our DMV communities since our founding days, and the last 10 years alone have seen the emergence of dozens of exciting programs and partnerships. 

Hard times can happen to anyone, and a single job loss or medical emergency can tip a family into crisis. In 1983, Washington Gas founded the Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF) to help families stay warm in the winter when other sources of assistance may not be available.

As we celebrate our 175th birthday, WAFF is also observing 40 years of assisting DMV residents. The program has distributed nearly $33 million to help more than 308,000 homes across D.C., Maryland and Virginia stay warm while getting back on their feet. And because Washington Gas covers all administrative fees, WAFF is one of the few charities where every dollar goes directly to recipients.

Food donations in the DWV at Washington Gas refrigerated trailer unveilingThrough millions of dollars in local investments, we continue to support vocational training, job placements and other paths to long-term employment. We have helped empower underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers via more than $500,000 in scholarships. We were also proud to support local middle school student environmental projects through the recent WUSA9 Eco Challenge.

One of our most urgent community calls is being there when our neighbors need us most. We founded and support the Community Disaster Relief fund with $1 million annually to help families rebuild and recover after catastrophic events. Alongside of this, we have also invested more than $10 million to enhance our emergency response capabilities.

Food security is especially close to our hearts in the aftermath of COVID-19 and the subsequent supply issues and inflation. As described in our annual and community engagement reports, our donations and volunteering have helped provide millions of meals to local food banks, as well as nutritious foods for underserved students and families. With more than $750,000 in support for community gardens and farmers markets, more families have access to fresh, locally grown food. 

While we hear a lot about the importance of supply chains, reliable “cold chains” are just as critical when it comes to delivering fresh food. Our $315,000 commitment and partnership with the Prince George’s County Food Council is expanding a fleet of refrigerated food delivery trucks that will assist multiple organizations. In fact, we just launched the newest refrigerated trailer in the fleet on June 30!

Washington Gas sponsors refrigerated food truck

A Year of Celebration

To honor our official birthday on July 8, we celebrated with a ceremonial tree planting at our Springfield Operations Center on July 7. The hardy red maple is a perfect symbol of the deep roots and strong growth that have exemplified our company for 175 years.

 

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