The customer choice program in Washington D.C. has opened toinclude all District residents and more large and small commercialcustomers Washington Gas announced Friday. The Public ServiceCommission of the District of Columbia recently expanded theresidential program, lowered the requirements to qualify for thelarge commercial program, and approved Washington Gas’ smallcommercial program.

The commission approved Washington Gas’ request to open theresidential program in late April. With this announcement,Washington Gas expanded the program tenfold from 13,000 residentialparticipants to 130,000. “Recent decisions by the Public ServiceCommission of the District of Columbia have opened the door for thevast majority of our customers to select their natural gassuppliers,” said Joe Schepis, Washington Gas COO.

The small commercial program applies to any business using lessthan 4,000 Dth/year. The enrollment period for the small commercialprogram is scheduled for Aug. 1 through Oct. 1. Enrollment is on afirst-come, first-served basis until specified limits of theprogram are reached. Service would Nov. 1.

Concerning the large commercial program, the LDC lowered therequirements to qualify for participation from 6,000 Dth/year to4,000 Dth/year.

In all of these programs, customers may choose to purchasenatural gas from any participating natural gas supplier. For thetwo previous programs, a total of 10 marketers were available. Thedecision by the District’s commission to open the residentialprogram to all customers was made, in part, to attract more naturalgas suppliers. More suppliers will create greater competition,which, in turn, should lead to more competitive prices and expandedservices for customers.

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