Customers struggling with paying their Washington Gas bills can look into a range of emergency financial assistance programs, grants, and other forms of financial aid. Some resources are offered by your state or local government, and other payment plans or support is provided directly by Washington Gas to qualified customers. The energy company will work with low income and senior customers in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. They support them in an effort to help them get their service on or prevent a shut off.
Payment arrangements can be entered into by calling and speaking to a customer service representative or by using an automated phone service. In general, eligible customers can enter into a program that allows them to pay their balance in three monthly installments. This will provide customers with additional time in order to get their account current, and postpone a potential disconnection of their gas service. Or call (703) 750-1000 to get more information from a representative.
Washington Gas will also try to provide an extension on a delinquent account. The formal name of this assistance program is the Payment Extension Plan, and it will in effect extend the due date for some qualified customers. The typical recipient will be an individual or family whose main source of income is a pension check, disability payment, or maybe they receive monthly government assistance such as SSI. Up to a twenty day extension can be made on an account by calling the company at (703) 750-1000.
Since Washington Gas operates across a few regions, including DC, Maryland, and Virginia, the utility company can help direct households to government organizations or financial assistance programs for those territories. A listing of some of those options are below.
Maryland Energy Assistance Program – Household that receive their power from Washington Gas can apply for grants and cash assistance. Applications will be reviewed, and any funding paid out will be based on the family’s income, type of fuel used for heating, and also their family size. So the more family members you have the higher the program income level is set at.
The state of Maryland Weatherization Assistance Program is a potentially free energy conservation service to qualified homeowners. Updates to homes or apartments include caulking, weather-stripping, gas furnace tune-up or and replacement and plastic window covering. Call Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development at 1-800-638-7781.
Residents of Virginia are supported by the Washington Area Fuel Fund. The Salvation Army administers the program on behalf of Washington Gas, and this can help people who can’t qualify for government aid (such as LIHEAP) or who have used up all other resources and who are out of options.
Financial assistance is paid out during the winter months and grants can pay for heating bills, oil, electricity, and other fuel sources. Enrollment period opens up in January of each year, but the money allocated to it goes quickly. Call the Salvation Army in Virginia at 1-888-318-9233 to apply.
Virginia Energy Assistance Program, or VEAP, is the states version of the low income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP). Federal government funds are distributed directly to low income families to help them with paying summer cooling or heating bills. Eligibility factors include, but are not limited to, household income, size, and type of home. The Virginia Department of Social Services, or your local community action agency, can provide an application. Call 1-800-230-6977 for referrals.
The towns and counties outside of the District of Columbia region are supported by the Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF) as well. In addition to the city itself, families in the counties and towns of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William Counties and Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church in Virginia can apply for help as well. The fund extends coverage to Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, and Montgomery Counties in Maryland too.
This is an emergency/crisis grant fund for Washington Gas customers. Applicants can’t be eligible for any other non-profit or government energy assistance programs, and they need to meet income guidelines too. If all conditions are met, funds may be issued for overdue utility bills.
Another condition includes if you are an electric or natural gas heating customer, you need to have received a warning of future disconnection or an actual termination notice from Washington Gas. This is to help reduce disconnections of electricity in the service territory.
Any grants of funds paid out to a customer need to be used for paying heating bills, or in some cases applicants can be approved to use the money to pay for the purchase and/or installation of energy conservation measures.
Another organization in the DC area is the District Department of the Environment’s Energy office (DDOE). The location runs the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. This federal government funded program offers cash grants to income qualified applicants in order to help them pay their monthly utility bills. Phone 202-673-6700.
Residential Essential Service (RES) is available for Washington Gas customers. Qualified low-income households may be able to receive discounts on their natural gas bills during the winter heating season. One of the key conditions is that applicants need to also be certified by the District Department of the Environment’s Energy Office as eligible for the LIHEAP.
Additional conservation services are available from the Washington DC Weatherization Assistance Program. Individuals can apply for replacement or repair of their cooling and heating systems. Grants can also be used for the installation of additional energy bill saving measures. Call 202-673-6700.
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