PGW Uses Open Data to Develop Interactive Infrastructure Upgrade Map

(PHILADELPHIA - May 22, 2018) --Today, PGW is launching its new, mobile-friendly Pipeline Improvement map. Available simply by texting the word WORK to the phone number 75308 the interactive mapping tool harnesses open city data to share up-to-date, street-level information on planned infrastructure projects, block by block. Residents and businesses can search by address or ZIP code to locate infrastructure upgrade projects that are ongoing, or which are scheduled within the next three months. In addition to locating project sites, the map will also tell users which phase of work the project is at, and what the projected timeframe for completion is. The new tool is housed on PGW’s website at pgworks.com/worksites and will also be distributed on Twitter, Facebook and Nextdoor. 

PGW is currently upgrading over 30 miles of its underground pipeline each year as part of its long-term infrastructure improvement program (LTIIP). The new mobile-ready Pipeline Improvement map has been developed because of the scale of this program, and because of its potential to impact the daily activities of residents and local businesses.

“PGW is committed to improving the way it communicates, and this new mapping tool is a key part of that initiative,” said PGW Director of Public Affairs Melanie McCottry. “We recognize that infrastructure projects can lead to a lot of questions. By making better use of available data and today’s online, interactive tools, PGW’s Pipeline Improvement map can answer many of those questions quickly, efficiently and on-the-go.”

The new Pipeline Improvement map allows people to better prepare for PGW projects that might interrupt their daily routine. It also facilitates better coordination. PGW’s infrastructure program often takes place at the same time and place as work from other utilities, city-wide street paving projects and Philadelphia’s continuing neighborhood development projects. This map allows users to identify which projects belong to PGW and who to contact with questions.

In conjunction with the map, residents can also use the hashtag #Conewatch on Twitter to receive worksite updates and follow the steps of a PGW infrastructure improvement project in real-time.

“People increasingly want self-service options that they can access instantly, without taking too much time out of their busy schedules,” said McCottry. “This innovative solution brings important information and actionable insight to customers, the broader utility industry, civic thinkers and policy makers.”

By making data easily accessible, PGW hopes to encourage residents and businesses to become more familiar with how their utility is performing, engage with their crews and contractors, and build tools and resources that ultimately make Philadelphia an even better place to live and work. Explore the map at pgworks.com/worksites.


PHILADELPHIA GAS WORKS COLD WEATHER SURVEY SHOWS A DECREASE IN HOMES ENTERING WINTER SEASON WITHOUT GAS SERVICE

(Philadelphia, Pa. – Dec. 15, 2017) – On Friday, December 15, Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) submitted its annual Cold Weather Survey to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC). The survey gathers data on the number of households that enter the Cold Weather Season without natural gas service. The Cold Weather Survey also allows PGW to reach out to those customers with the greatest level of need.

This year’s survey indicates that 8,761 of PGW’s approximately 476,000 residential customers do not have natural gas service, following the termination of their service during this calendar year. This year’s figure represents a 8.5 percent decrease over 2016.

“The annual Cold Weather Survey helps PGW better identify customers in need of assistance and ensures that we can provide the right customers with the information they need to have service restored,” said Denise Adamucci, vice president of regulatory compliance and customer programs.

Information provided through this survey supplements PGW’s outreach work with neighborhood organizations, first responders, churches, elected officials, and community leaders.  It enables PGW to better educate customers and support households attempting to secure assistance to resume and maintain natural gas service.

Programs such as LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program), Crisis and UESF (Utility Emergency Services Fund) are currently available to help families restore their gas service. PGW is advising its customers to submit applications for LIHEAP now because grants are first-come, first-served. The fastest way for customers to see if they’re eligible for LIHEAP is to text the word WARM to the short phone number 75308.

Customers without service can also apply for a Crisis grant. Applications for Crisis must be made in person at the Department of Human Services’ Philadelphia County Assistance Office at 1348 W. Sedgley Avenue.

Customers who are not low income may be eligible for affordable payment arrangements that allow the restoration of service. Those customers should contact PGW as soon as possible at 215-235-1777. 

PGW urges its customers to visit www.pgworks.com or one of the company’s customer service centers for assistance. Philadelphians can also help to support those in need of heating assistance by donating to the Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF). All donations are tax deductible. To donate, visit the Customer Care page of pgworks.com for Assistance Programs & Grants.


VITAL LIHEAP GRANTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR UP TO 150,000 ELIGIBLE LOW-INCOME PHILADELPHIA GAS WORKS CUSTOMERS

(Philadelphia, Pa. – November 1, 2017) – Families in Philadelphia deserve to be warm in winter. That’s why Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) is urging customers to apply for free LIHEAP grants that can help with heating expenses. LIHEAP, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, is a federal grant that helps low-income households pay their winter heating bills. Grants range from $200 to $1,000, are based on a customer’s income and household size, and DO NOT have to be repaid.

In Philadelphia, where almost one in three households qualify as low-income, 85 percent of the city’s homes use natural gas for heating. That means as many as 150,000 PGW residential customers could be eligible for LIHEAP. These are households where paying for heat in winter accounts for a much bigger portion of total income, often leaving little money for other necessities.

“LIHEAP exists to help low-income residents who struggle to pay for vital warmth in the winter,” said Barry O’Sullivan, director of corporate communications at PGW. “These no-strings grants mean that people may not have to choose between warmth and other needs. And with our texting program it’s easy for people to see if they’re eligible and to apply: they just text FAST to 75308.”

Unfortunately, since LIHEAP funds are limited, and its first come, first served tens of thousands of Philadelphians who are eligible miss out. PGW urges customers to use its texting service to see if they qualify, and to apply early if they are eligible.  To apply, customers can:

Print an application (in English or Spanish) from www.pgworks.com/liheap


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