NATURAL GAS FOR MULTIFAMILY PROJECTS
Cost-saving programs and innovative design solutions for apartment and condominium projects
The Washington Gas Sales Team is the resource you can count on for all multifamily development natural gas applications. Our representatives include a variety of professionals with the technical skills to understand your requirements and walk you through each stage of the process.
Our mission is to provide our partners with first-class personalized service by developing quality and innovative natural gas solutions. We provide the tools to make natural gas the premier energy choice in your commercial and residential market segments.
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"We reached out to Washington Gas and learned of the Maryland Multifamily Piping Program, which contributed funds for the natural gas piping from the meter to each individual unit. We quickly changed our business plan as we knew natural gas was a more efficient hot water and heating system than electric, especially at today’s natural gas prices. Washington Gas has been a joy to work with and the team could not be any more responsive and helpful."
- Scott Altman, Executive Vice President, The Donaldson Group
Distributed Meter Room (DMR) Design
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.
- Washington Gas installs and maintains the piping up to and including the natural gas meter, saving you time and money.
- You will have a more standardized design for natural gas installation, making it easier for you to design a building to use natural gas. As a result, design bid prices should reflect the reduced design hours and costs.
- Sales professionals, property managers and residents will benefit from using efficient, environmentally-friendly natural gas products for their heating and water heating needs and enjoy the ambiance and convenience of products such as fireplaces, ranges, gas grills, pools and spas.
- Property managers will no longer bear the responsibility of gas billings. Residents will be encouraged to conserve energy because they have their own individual gas service meters.
Multifamily Incentive Program
The Multifamily Incentive Program was created to help lower first costs for builders and developers in Maryland who choose natural gas as the primary energy solution in their multifamily projects. Property owners and managers of existing apartment complexes with either full electricity or single-building gas meter(s) can also benefit from the program when they commit to converting their building(s) to individual tenant-controlled natural gas meters.
Before you build your next multifamily project or remodel your existing apartment complex, 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.
With this program, not only will you receive a reimbursement for your investment, but your tenants will also receive value.
- Project (apartment or condo) must be individually metered with four or more units.
- Must be located within Maryland
- Must be approved for the program after undergoing the required Washington Gas cost-benefit lifestyle evaluation.
- New construction applicants must be in the planning (pre-groundbreaking) stage of development.
- Conversion applicants must be for a building with either full electricity or single-building gas meter(s)
- Must agree to submit documentation of the cost of the internal piping installation upon completion of the work.
Master Meter Conversions
New pipes. New meters. No hassle.
If you own or manage a multifamily complex with a single building gas meter or have underground gas piping facilities on your customer houseline, consider converting your property to individual unit gas meters. It will give your residents the ability to control their energy usage, transfer operating costs from your business to the customer and encourage your tenants to conserve energy. Converting your property to individual unit gas meters will also allow for streamlined operations, eliminating the need to manage your own underground piping system. With stricter enforcement from the Department of Transportation Office of Pipeline Safety, part 192 standards, small underground pipe system operators are struggling to stay in compliance and individual gas meters are the perfect solution.
For an example of how Washington Gas helped a local full service real estate management and investment company, convert its 864-unit apartment complex from central gas-metered boilers systems to energy-efficient tankless water heater systems for each tenant space, read “Right at Home” in the December 2015 issue of the American Gas Association magazine.
If you’re interested in converting your property to individual unit gas meters, Washington Gas is here to help.
We will review your current gas facilities, evaluate your options and assist you with engineering new metering designs that could make your operation more energy efficient and your business more attractive to the residents you serve.
It’s that easy and the consultation will be completed for you at no cost.
Eco-Builder ProgramThe builder/developer community plays a significant role in our success at Washington Gas. To express our gratitude, we’ve created the Eco-Builder Program -- a set of customizable marketing tools to help you market your project, reach new customers and boost sales. These tools are available to you at no charge, provided that your project is using natural gas for heating and hot water. Learn more.
Washington Gas offers a range of services to help facilitate the process of including natural gas in all multifamily projects.
A listing of those services can be found below.
Service TerritoryWashington Gas’ service territory includes Washington, D.C. and counties in Maryland and Virginia.
Engineered Sales Support
The Washington Gas Engineered Sales Team is the resource you can count on for all commercial and multifamily development natural gas applications.
Our representatives have the technical skills to understand your project's requirements and walk you through each stage of the natural gas installation process. Working as a liaison to your project’s architect and engineer, you can count on our team to facilitate and monitor the progress of your project from start to finish.
Partner with our Engineered Sales Team and receive:
- Complimentary education and training throughout the life cycle of your project.
- Experienced consultation on equipment options that best meet your project’s needs.
- Assistance in identifying available incentives for your project.
- A well qualified point-of-contact with the experience to navigate projects through local, state and federal government agencies (DOE, EPA) and regulators (DOT, international codes, PSC).
- Customized natural gas design specifically tailored to create optimal cost savings in your projects. This configuration will serve as an approved Washington Gas piping and equipment design that can be incorporated in your project’s AutoCAD drawings.
- Reduced plumbing engineer/plumbing design contractor hours-cost: Our sales engineers will provide you with a standardized design for your natural gas installation, making it easier for you to design a building that uses natural gas, which should result in reduced plumbing design bid prices that reflect reduced design hours-costs.
- Information on many aspects of natural gas service, including overall gas availability, specific gas pressure information, gas service capacities, metering capabilities and much more.
Disconnect ServiceThere are times when you may need to have the gas service to a property temporarily or permanently disconnected. Furthermore, you may need confirmation that the property does not have gas service. Learn the steps to disconnecting service or verify that your property does not have gas utility service here.
Meter Set Process
If you have one meter that you would like to get set, call 844-WASHGAS (844-927-4427). Please be sure to have your account number available to help our customer service representatives facilitate your request, if possible.
If you have a larger project with multiple meters that need to get set, email the Meter Set Request Form to the Contractor Services Desk at email@example.com.
Please be advised it may take up to seven days to set the meter. Prior to meter set, please make sure the following items are completed; incomplete items could cause a delay and/or the appointment to be rescheduled.
Prior to setting the meter:
- Gas service, rack and/or meter bar must be installed.
- The interior gas piping (house line) must be connected to the meter bar
- Pressure reducing regulators must be installed on 2psi house lines.
- All interior gas lines must be valved and capped.
- The interior gas piping must pass a county/city inspection (1st and/or 2nd if applicable) and the
inspection tag must be located on-site.
- The permanent address should be affixed to the home with lot number visible in yard and/or
county permit displayed in the front window.
- Building must be unlocked and provide safe access.
Construction HeatingHeat your construction site with natural gas. It saves money, time, resources and, best of all, it's easy.
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.
When you apply for your permanent natural gas service line, let us know that you would like to take advantage of natural gas for your construction heaters.
Natural gas construction heating:
- Natural gas costs less than propane.
- You pay only for what you use.
- No time lost scheduling propane deliveries.
- No time spent moving propane tanks.
- Natural gas is always available.
Assures a Better Allocation of Resources
- Cranes can be used for construction, not moving propane tanks.
- Resources aren't needed to monitor fuel usage.
- Flexible hosing goes anywhere on site from the utility meter.
Here's How It Works
Washington Gas provides permanent underground gas service and a meter at a specified location on your job site. You or your subcontractor will utilize flexible hoses, gas laterals or risers (either temporary or those to be used for the permanent gas loads) inside the building. The hoses connect to your portable heaters, for temporary heat wherever and whenever you need it. Because gas is always available—instantly ready any time of day or night—monitoring your fuel supply isn’t required.
To assure that Washington Gas meets your construction heating needs, contact us well in advance to apply for your permanent gas service line, allowing sufficient time to install the service. If you are renovating an old building that has an existing riser in place, you may be able to use the existing riser during construction, so we recommend contacting us before having the riser removed. We’re ready to help you plan ahead so you get the full benefits of natural gas heating during construction.
Local Code AuthoritiesAll gas-fired products sold and used in the U.S. are covered by a variety of certification standards, building codes and local requirements. Contact the code authority in your area to confirm that the products you choose meet requirements.
Call Before You DigWhen planning any type of construction, home improvement or landscaping project that requires digging or excavating, call 811 to notify the underground utility line locating service before you are scheduled to begin the project.
Tankless Water Heaters
Natural gas tankless water heaters provide an endless source of water heating with zero stand-by heat loss. In addition to a life expectancy of 20 years or longer, tankless water heaters also have a higher flow rate than electric water heaters. Multiple tanks can be combined for higher capacities and can also be configured with an air handler for space heating.
Tankless water heaters are typically placed on a wall and are easy to service and repair. Popular companies include Rinnai, AO Smith, Navien, Noritz and Rheem.
- Sizing up to 380,000 BTU/Hr
- DOE efficiency minimum: 80% (Standard Models)
- Best available technology: 98% (Condensing Models)
Storage Water Heaters
Natural gas tank water heaters are an economic way to heat water. Cold water enters through the top of the water heater. The gas burner at the bottom of the water heater heats the cold water causing the hotter water to rise for it to be used. Exhaust from the burner is then vented through a baffled flue and is vented outside.
Typical installation requires a 6” clearance for type B ventilation for four-six square feet of ground space. Standard non-condensing storage-type water heaters require indoor combustion air and should be flushed by the homeowner annually. This style of water heater requires very low maintenance.
Hot exhaust gases are captured and utilized to heat the water in addition to the main burner, making a gas condensing water heater more efficient. The condensing water heater will also produce lower Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) emissions and venting is less expensive in new construction.
Typical installation requires PVC venting for four-six square feet of ground space. Some condensing water heaters may not require combustion air. Annual professional maintenance required.
- Sizing range: 30-75 gallons
- DOE efficiency minimum: 63-74%
Combo HeatingA natural gas combo-system combines a gas water heater and a gas furnace to provide residential space heating and domestic water heating. The system utilizes a water heater to supply not only the domestic hot water but also the water to an air handler unit (AHU). The hot water is circulated using a pump with the hot water passing through the AHU coil to heat the air. It is then pumped back to the hot water heater to be re-heated. The heating system is known as a Combo-System because the water heater and water coil fulfill the combined services of a furnace and water heater.
Gas RangesNatural gas ranges are preferred by the world's best chefs and people who love cooking at home. A natural gas range instantly turns on and off, provides even heat, is easy to clean and offers variable temperature control. With a wide range of styles to choose from, it's easy to match any décor.
Multifamily buildings supplying natural gas dryers allow for tenants to save in energy costs and time. Natural gas dries laundry three times faster than electric and can save more than $75 a year in energy costs. With three different drum sizes, gas dryers work for compact apartment laundry spaces or communal laundry rooms.
- Sizing ranges from 24 inches to 29 inches.
- Operating life cycle costs almost three times less than electric models allows for longer use.
Natural gas fireplaces provide a constant heat source and can be used for supplemental heat. Resembling the look, sound and smells of a wood fireplace, gas fireplaces add value to any dwelling. They are also easy to maintain, turn on/off with the flip of a switch and don’t require a chimney.
- Can save 25% on heating bills
- Most fireplace products have 80-99% maximum heating efficiency
Water Source Heat PumpsNatural gas heats water twice as fast and can save hundreds of dollars per year. A water source heat pump is efficient, economical and environmentally friendly. Strategic placing can minimize the amount of energy used for heating and cooling.
Centralized Residential HVAC SystemsCentralized systems feed the heating and cooling for the entire building from one centrally-located mechanical area. They are mostly used in mid-to-high-rise buildings with five to seven or more floors. These systems are considered more expensive to install and are usually more sophisticated to operate and maintain. A drawback of centralized systems is, in general, usage cannot readily be individually metered; therefore, the energy costs must be included in any rental or condo fee calculation.
Extreme weather, summertime brownouts and many other unforeseen complications can interrupt the electrical service to your multifamily building. With a natural gas standby power generator, you can be assured that when power is lost, the electricity in your building’s common areas, elevators and if you choose, power to your resident’s units, will remain in operation and ensure the safety of your residents. Generator models are manufactured to accommodate various kilowatt loads – fully adaptable to your building’s design and the needs of the residents. Some local code authorities now require natural gas generator installations for multifamily buildings.
A natural gas standby power generator can be permanently installed within the buildings interior or outdoors. A typical standby power generator has an automatic transfer switch that continuously monitors the utility power for an interruption. If utility power fails, the transfer switch automatically starts the generator, transferring electrical loads and restoring power to your building. When utility power resumes, the transfer switch automatically reverses the process.
Back-up power generators are available in a wide range of sizes and can be used for the largest multifamily structures, and because it runs on natural gas, the need for fuel storage is eliminated completely.
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