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The Energy of Equity

The Energy of Equity

Sept. 13, 2023

Energy [en-Ər-jē] noun, plural en·Ər·gēs. The ability to do work or cause change; the capacity for vigorous activity; the ability to act or lead others.

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Energy equity looms as one of our region's most urgent issues, especially among underserved households. In 2020, 27% of U.S. households had difficulty meeting their energy needs and reported difficulty paying energy bills or having to keep their homes at unsafe temperatures because of energy cost concerns.*

Alleviating the discomfort and health threats of unheated homes is a long-standing call to action for Washington Gas. As an integral part of the DMV for 175 years, we founded the Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF) program in 1983; the WAFF has helped more than 308,000 households with more than $33 million in assistance for heating their homes. Scan the QR code on this page to learn more, or visit https://www.waffhelp.org.

Just as WAFF supports our communities during challenging times, our Energy Assistance programs help local families maintain reliable, uninterrupted services. We work to ensure that our 1.2 million customers have the best options and payment plans to fit their budgets and schedules during times of need. Scan the QR code on this page to learn more, or visit https://www.washingtongascares.com.

While we are proud to offer numerous options for supporting our communities during difficult times, we are equally passionate about advancing energy technology to help power long-term energy equity. As we provide safe, reliable energy today, we are leading the way toward a future filled with advanced options and exciting technologies.

CHP Spells ‘Energy Efficiency’

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Combined heat and power (CHP) refers to systems that generate onsite electricity and produce thermal energy, thus reducing the fuel needed for conventional heating systems. CHP systems are often located onsite or near facilities with high, 24-hour energy needs, such as manufacturing plants, hospitals, universities, multi-family housing and hotels.

CHP systems provide facilities with steady electricity and thermal energy, going offline only for maintenance. Because they can operate independently from the overall power grid, CHP networks support critical power reliability while helping to enhance grid stability and relieve energy demand congestion. They can also offer a reliable, cost-effective alternative to buying costly personal generators as protection against extended grid outages. Learn more about how Washington Gas is advancing CHP technology at https://bit.ly/CHPenergy, or scan the QR code on this page.

For Lower-Carbon Energy, Put a RiNG on It

Artist concept of the cycle of renewing waste

Renewable natural gas, or RNG, is an exciting and powerful strategy to help manage municipal landfill methane emissions while producing a lower-carbon fuel source. RNG relies on specialized facilities to collect and process biogas released from the anaerobic digestion of organic biostock, such as food and landscape wastes, organic textiles, paper products, manure and other biosolids. The result is a concentrated methane gas that can be injected into natural gas pipelines as a readily available renewable energy source.

RNG's unique production and distribution support energy equity by buffering energy stability. For example, local fuel sourcing is less affected by geopolitical instabilities and disruptions than other energy sources, helping to create a steadier, more predictable energy supply. And unlike the unpredictability of weather-impacted solar and wind options, RNG can offer a more stable production source for storage and future use. Learn more about current Washington Gas renewable natural gas projects at https://bit.ly/rubbish2rng, or scan the QR code on this page.

In the Loop for Hydrogen Energy

Renewable natural gas is also advancing energy equity by creating hydrogen through a process known as steam methane reforming, or SMR. As the most common commercial hydrogen production method, SMR accounts for half of all hydrogen production. As with RNG, hydrogen gas is a storable fuel that delivers readily usable energy. For example, hydrogen fuel cells can generate electricity, produce heat and power vehicles with only water and warm air as the byproducts of that process.

Led by Connected DMV and its National Capital Hydrogen Center, Washington Gas has partnered with local energy providers and major companies to form the Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub. Also known as The Hub, this coalition will accelerate the adoption of hydrogen energy solutions across the DC metro area. Building the hydrogen economy via the Hub will support equitable energy by creating jobs, accelerating economic growth, promoting energy resilience and positioning our region to compete in emerging energy markets on a national and global scale. Learn more at https://bit.ly/wg-hydrogen-loop.

The powerful integration of CHP, RNG and hydrogen technologies is pivotal to increasing energy equity through decreased energy costs, enhanced stability and new job opportunities. In prioritizing equitable access to lower-carbon, affordable energy, Washington Gas is proud to invest in the future of the DMV.

For more information, scan the QR code on this page or visit https://www.washingtongas.com/.

*https://bit.ly/eia-energy

Brandon Todd bio image 2023
Brandon Todd
serves as Senior Director of Corporate Public Policy for Washington Gas (WGL), leading the government affairs and public policy team responsible for developing and managing public policy positions. He previously served six years on the Council of the District of Columbia, representing Ward 4. Brandon is active across the metropolitan Washington region, serving on both business and philanthropic boards. A native Washingtonian, he resides in the Petworth neighborhood of Ward 4.

 

  

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