Formal Case No. 1115 - Order No. 17602
PROJECTpipes is Washington Gas’ 40-year accelerated pipeline replacement program, launched in 2014 in the District of Columbia, that is designed to enhance the safety and reliability of our system. The plan, approved by the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (PSC) – Order No. 17602 - has allowed us to work over the past four years replacing aging infrastructure across Washington, D.C.
Washington Gas recovers the associated costs through a PSC-approved billing surcharge. The first phase of the program ends in September 2019.
Contact Us (PROJECTpipes hotline):
If have questions, concerns or need additional information regarding our pipe replacement activities in your neighborhood or on your property, please contact us at:
• 202-624-6400 (PROJECTpipes hotline)
If you have a natural gas emergency requiring immediate attention, call 911 & 844-WASHGAS (select option 1).
- Press Release: Washington Gas Files Next Phase of Accelerated Infrastructure Replacement Plan in District of Columbia to Enhance Safety and Reliability
- PROJECTpipes Brochure
- Glossary of Terms
- Project Calendar
- DC Tariff Information
- Accelerated Pipe Replacement Plan, General Service Provision (GSP) 28
- Notice to D.C. Customers: PROJECTpipes: Property Restoration (August 2017)
- Online Activity Map
- Construction Processes
- Annual Report (2019)
PROJECTpipes is Washington Gas’ 40-year accelerated pipeline replacement program launched in 2014 in the District of Columbia that is designed to enhance the safety and reliability of our system. The plan, approved by the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (PSC) - Order Number 17602 - has allowed us to work over the past four years replacing aging infrastructure across Washington, DC. Washington Gas recovers the associated costs through a PSC-approved billing surcharge. The first phase of the program ends in September 2019.
Washington Gas has served the DC-area for 170 years. Like all older metropolitan systems, our pipeline system in DC is aging and we are working diligently to modernize it over time through our PROJECTpipes program. The investment and planning that have gone into effectively managing PROJECTpipes has led to many positive results, including enhancing the safety and improving the reliability of our distribution system in the District of Columbia. The project has enabled Washington Gas to accelerate replacing portions of our aging facilities through a proactively developed and PSC-approved annual project list.
Our progress on PROJECTpipes since June 2014 includes successfully replacing approximately 13 miles of pipe and 3,000 service lines.
Through its completion of Phase 1 PROJECTpipes work, Washington Gas has created an estimated 616 full time jobs, added Gross Domestic Product in the District of Columbia at an estimated $57.6 million, and reduced greenhouse gases (GHG) released from its distribution system by an estimated cumulative reduction total of 5,674 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. Project work has also included the installation of service safety valves, new locating technology, updated mapping of our facilities, and uprating our low pressure systems which can reduce instances of water infiltration into pipelines that can cause outages.
Washington Gas is proposing a plan to implement the next five years of PROJECTpipes and continue the program’s success and progress to further enhance safety and improve reliability. Much like Washington Gas’ current Phase 1 plan, we would continue our efforts to replace portions of our natural gas distribution pipe on an accelerated basis and recover the associated costs through a billing surcharge mechanism as previously approved by the PSC in the first phase of PROJECTpipes.
PROJECTpipes Phase 2 proposes to enhance the safety and reliability of Washington Gas’s distribution and transmission systems in DC, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to leaks on aging infrastructure.
Specifically, for the distribution system, Washington Gas is proposing to replace approximately 22 miles of pipe and 8,274 service lines from October 1, 2019 through December 31, 2024.
Washington Gas will prioritize the selection and timing of replacing specific types of facilities within specific categories, based on their relative risk, construction efficiencies, and other factors using established pipeline integrity evaluation and risk assessment tools. Program project categories include the following areas of focus:
- Bare Steel Main and Services
- Unprotected Wrapped Steel Main and Services
- Vintage Mechanically Coupled Main and Services
- Cast Iron Main
- Copper Services
- Distribution Gauge Lines
- Regulator Station Enhancements
- Low Pressure Service Replacements/Transfers
There will be disruption due to construction, but Washington Gas works to minimize these disruptions as much as possible. There will be impact on vehicular and pedestrian traffic, parking and noise. The construction work, which will be permitted by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), will subject Washington Gas to certain restrictions, including work hours and will be closely coordinated with the scheduled activities of other underground service utilities. Washington Gas will maintain its commitment to safety and efficiency, strive to keep disruptions to a minimum, and will continue to work to keep communities informed when work may impact them.
You will receive a pre-notification letter approximately two weeks prior to the start of construction in your neighborhood. The letter will include the contact information in the event you should have a question regarding PROJECTpipes and general information about the construction. Additionally, Washington Gas may coordinate community meetings with Advisory Neighborhood Commissions in areas that will have significant pipe replacement on an as needed basis. Please note, pipe replacement schedules may be affected by weather and other unforeseen circumstances.
Construction on or in front of individual properties will vary from a few days to longer periods, depending on conditions. We will do our best to minimize disruptions to your neighborhood. In most cases, we will be performing work only during daylight hours. While the work is in progress, our work crews will make temporary repairs to the roadway and sidewalk and will restore your property to an as-found condition. Permanent repairs will be made as soon as possible after all work is completed and will comply with local regulations. Additionally, if lane closures or parking restrictions are required, traffic will be managed through an approved Traffic Control Plan.
If you are a natural gas customer living in an area affected by PROJECTpipes, at some point during the replacement work your gas service will need to be turned off for several hours while the construction crew replaces the gas line to your property. Prior to the start of construction, representatives of Washington Gas or contractors working on behalf of Washington Gas will contact you to set up a date to replace your service line.
- It may be necessary for you to be present to perform this work, particularly if our meter set is inside of your home or business. If we do need access to your property, the on-site representative will contact you in advance to coordinate this work. If your gas meter is outside of your home or business, the replacement of your gas service line does not require you to be present. However, we will need access at some point to turn your gas back on and to relight your appliance(s).
- If you are not present when the construction crew has completed their work, a card will be left with information and a telephone number you will need to call to have your service restored and your appliances relit.
For 2018, the amount of PROJECTpipes surcharge for an average residential heating customer was approximately $25 annually, or $2.08 per month. For 2019, it is projected to be approximately $49 annually, or $4.08 per month.
Costs associated with PROJECTpipes are recovered by the company through a separate line item on Washington Gas customer bills labeled "PROJECTpipes Adjustment." The monthly charge is calculated by multiplying the customer's monthly usage by an annually adjusted factor. For a typical residential heating customer who uses 760 annual therms, the resulting Year 1 cost for the initial 16-month period of the plan will be $9.60 ($0.60 x 16=$9.60) or $0.60 per month. However, the adjustment may vary based on customer rate class. For a detailed explanation of the PROJECTpipes Adjustment calculation, please see the DC Tariff General Service Provision (GSP) 28, Accelerated Pipe Replacement Plan.
As of September 30, 2018, the first phase of Washington Gas’ PROJECTpipes program has been completed at a total cost of $78.1 million, with approximately $110 million total investment by September 30, 2019. The initial work has resulted in increased reliability and enhanced safety of our Washington, D.C. system by replacing certain portions of our aging system as identified and approved using our annual project lists in close coordination with the PSC.
Through its Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP), Washington Gas identifies, evaluates and prioritizes pipeline integrity risk, and takes appropriate action to reduce risk. Accelerated replacement is one of those activities. The company utilizes a common and effective industry risk assessment tool to identify and prioritize projects for replacement.
Washington Gas will continue to replace portions of our older infrastructure at an accelerated pace through its PROJECTpipes Phase 2 proposal for a total expenditure of approximately $305.3 million.