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PGW to Mark Earth Day 2020 as A New EPA Methane Challenge Partner

To start, Company will track and share methane emissions reductions from pipeline replacement by 2022   

PHILADELPHIA (April 21, 2020) – Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) is pleased to announce its acceptance into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Methane Challenge Program on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. By joining the Challenge, PGW is voluntarily committing to lower its methane emissions by replacing at least two percent of its cast iron and vintage steel mains with newer, modern pipes, along with new service lines, every year by 2022.  

 

As a partner, PGW joins more than 60 companies from all segments of the industry — production, gathering and boosting, transmission and storage, and distribution — to set targets and track and share their progress to reduce emissions and improve air quality. PGW will also work with the EPA and peer companies to learn and share knowledge about the latest technologies, industry trends and new industry initiatives.

 

“PGW intends to meet or surpass the goals set by the Methane Challenge and strengthen our commitment to environmental responsibility,” said Janelle Johnson-Grummert, PGW’s director of sustainability. “Participation in this program helps PGW continue to play a role in creating a healthier environment and improving essential services in the City.”

 

The Methane Challenge is the latest in PGW’s conservation and efficiency efforts. PGW’s main and service replacement program has reduced 78,000 metric tons of CO2e since 2005. Last year, PGW invested $87 million to modernize and replace 34 miles of its infrastructure. With each new mile of main installed, emissions were reduced to zero. Along with reducing methane emissions, pipe upgrades ensure the long-term safety and reliability of the overall natural gas distribution system in Philadelphia.

 

Sustainability is core to PGW’s business operations and its future. Just over the last 10 years, PGW has invested $60 million to weatherize 21,880 low-income customer homes and 22 multi-family buildings (with a majority of low-income tenants) in Philadelphia through Home Comfort, a free, low income usage reduction program.

 

PGW has also awarded more than 6,200 rebates and grants to residential, commercial and industrial customers at a cost of $10.7 million through its EnergySense Rebate Program. Collectively, the estimated resources saved over the lifetime of PGW’s conservation measures in Philadelphia homes and businesses is equivalent to 846,000 metric tons of CO2e, or planting over 13.9 million trees.  To learn more about PGW’s conservation efforts, visit the Energy for All of Us page at pgworks.com.


PGW SUPPORTS ITS CUSTOMERS DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

PGW encourages customers to enroll in payment assistance programs and apply for available grants

PHILADELPHIA, PA (March 13, 2020) – With the evolving response to the COVID-19 pandemic we understand that our customers may experience challenges or financial hardships as a result. Effective immediately, PGW is suspending non-payment terminations until May 1, 2020. PGW also plans to waive new late payment charges.

“PGW wants to support any of its customers that may be facing additional difficulties because of the COVID-19 pandemic and connect customers with the payment arrangements, programs, grants and other resources available to stay warm without worry,” says PGW CEO Craig White. “We are committed to assisting our customers so they can maintain gas service for heating their homes and providing meals for their families.”

PGW has a variety of assistance programs in place for customers to assist with their natural gas bill. Options like ‘Payment Arrangements’ (for when customers fall behind, or are worried they might) or ‘Budget Billing’ (which sets up a consistent pay amount each month) can make all the difference.

Other programs include:

·         Crisis: A federal grant awarded to customers without gas service, or with a 10-day shutoff notice. This grant can be combined with LIHEAP.

·         Customer Assistance Referral Evaluation Program (CARES): PGW’s CARES program provides payment assistance to residential customers with special circumstances. These might include medical emergencies, unemployment or other temporary hardships.

·         Customer Responsibility Program (CRP): Allows low-income customers to cut their monthly gas bill.

·         LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program): A free grant ranging from $200 - $1,000.

·         UESF (Utility Emergency Services Fund): A grant designed to pay off the balance of a customer’s unpaid utility bill and bring it to $0.

For low income customers LIHEAP funds are still available. The program closes April 10, 2020. If eligible, LIHEAP grants of up to $1,000 are available to both homeowners and renters. Customers can visit www.pgworks.com/liheap.  

 

Our goal is always to work with customers and give them as much support as we can, in order to keep their vital natural gas service on. Whether the need is temporary or ongoing, our experienced team regularly works with customers who are in tough financial situations. We may also be able to direct customers to other services and sources of financial support, even if we don’t have a program to fit their need. People can find out more at www.pgworks.com  or by following @MyPGW on Twitter.


PGW FILES REQUEST WITH REGULATORS TO INCREASE DISTRIBUTION BASE RATES

$70M request will reduce the overall cast iron main inventory replacement time by 14%.

(Philadelphia, Pa. – February 28, 2020) – Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) today announced that it has filed a base rate case with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC).  PGW has requested an overall rate increase of $70 million per year. The requested cost will help support PGW’s ongoing and proactive Pipeline Improvement Program and operations essential to maintaining a safe, reliable and environmentally responsible natural gas system.

In the event that the full amount of the proposed rate increase requested is granted, the total bill for a residential customer using 75 thousand cubic feet (Mcf) per year would increase from $99.52 per month to $110.68 per month or by 11.2%.

“Natural gas is the cleanest, most reliable energy choice to affordably meet Philadelphia’s energy demands,” said Craig White, President and CEO of PGW. “As Philadelphia’s exclusive natural gas provider for 184 years, we understand the importance of our infrastructure and the vital role it plays in supporting the City’s economic and social impact, as well as our community’s environmental goals. We continue to invest in upgrading our infrastructure so our customers can continue to rely on us for safe, reliable natural gas service.”

Currently PGW is projecting that it will replace all cast iron main inventory in approximately 40 years. When $70 million in rate relief is factored in, the associated increases in the increased Distribution Service Improvement Charge will result in all cast iron main inventory being replaced in 34.6 years – a reduction of 14% compared to current projections. 

Despite saving millions, and cutting spending and adding millions in new revenue, the basic costs of doing business continue to rise. Utilities, like PGW, have three ways to keep the system safe, reliable and efficient:

  • Uncover new sources of revenue;
  • Cut costs and increase efficiencies; and
  • Raise rates.

Most of PGW’s residential revenue comes from home heating. Improved building and weatherization techniques, more efficient appliances and warmer weather patterns mean less revenue. This rate request will improve PGW’s ability to sustain the company’s financial well-being, continue to enhance customer service and meet the energy demands of customers while maintaining a safe, reliable natural gas delivery system.

“We recognize that many of our customers fall below the federal poverty line and lack financial stability. Since our 2018 fiscal year, we allocated $126.9 million to support those customers in need,” said White. “PGW is planning to expand access to assistance programs to more customers and offer even more flexibility, as well as the insights they need to monitor their own consumption. Along with our low-income programs this approach helps keep natural gas affordable for all.”

PGW understands the financial hardships our customers face and the company is pursuing new revenue streams to help lessen that burden. In June 2019, Philadelphia City Council approved our Passyunk Plant P3 LNG expansion project with Passyunk Energy Center. Our project partner Passyunk Energy Center LLC will market and sell LNG, opening the door for a potential new revenue stream to PGW. This revenue will be reinvested right back into PGW– helping to keep rates low.

PGW has produced LNG for approximately 50 years. In that time, the use of LNG reserves at our Passyunk and Port Richmond facilities has saved PGW customers nearly $4 billion.

PGW is requesting that the new gas rates take effect on April 28, 2020. We encourage our customers to take advantage of the variety of financial assistance programs and grants available.

For more information, on PGW’s base rate filing, please visit puc.state.pa.us
 


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Natural Gas smells bad on purpose

That “rotten egg” smell is the smell of natural gas. If you think you smell gas leave the area immediately, and then call PGW at 215-235-1212 from a safe location.

Learn more Leaks, Odors, Safety Tips

Also if you smell gas:

  • Do not use electrical devices including cell phones which may cause a spark and ignite the gas.
  • Do not use an open flame, matches or lighters.
  • Do not try to locate the source of the gas leak.
  • Do not try to shut off any natural gas valves or gas appliances.
  • Do not start vehicles.
  • Do not re-enter the building or return to the area until a PGW employee or a qualified utility representative says it is safe to do so.
  • Do not put out the flames if natural gas ignites.