The BUZZ with Jennifer Eugene of Washington Gas
Jennifer Eugene is the Manager of Specialty Sales at Washington Gas Light Company. Washington Gas is headquartered in Washington, DC and delivers natural gas to industrial, commercial and residential customers throughout the metropolitan area. Washington Gas is an active member of the business community and contributes to numerous community service programs, focused on health, education, and the environment.
1. Washington Gas has recently joined the WDCEP Board of Directors. Why do you think it is important for a well-established company like yours to be involved with economic development in the District of Columbia?
At Washington Gas, I believe there is more than a good way to do business; there is a right way. I subscribe to the philosophy that part of doing business the right way is being an active participant in the economic development of our service area. Washington Gas seeks to engage with community professionals to provide leadership, knowledge and resources in helping customers choose development sites or plan expansions of their businesses, and by the way, install high efficient natural gas appliances to control their energy costs and to be good stewards of our environment.
Partnering with the Washington, DC Economic Development Partnership, I believe Washington Gas has teamed up with a strong leader in the community who is an expert on the economics of the city and it is committed to helping Washington, DC communities grow, economically and in a sustainable way. I am very happy to be part of the long-term economic growth strategy for the city and to work in concert with the WDCEP.
2. In what ways has Washington Gas contributed to making DC a more energy sustainable city?
Initiatives range from assessing our own carbon footprint to incorporating green purchasing, telework and customer solutions. Washington Gas has been recognized for best practices in sustainable operations as the first large company to receive certification at the 4-star rating from the Sustainable Business Network of Washington. Certification required audits in 6 areas including energy use, waste, water usage, recycling, fleet, training and environmental community service. Our new LEED Gold Headquarters will be among the greenest facilities in Northern Virginia. We have over 35 fleet vehicles running on CNG – 25% less GHG emissions per gallon equivalent of gasoline and no particulates.
3. Your company contributes to the betterment of homes in the Capital region through many efforts, including the Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF). Please tell us about it.
More than 25 years ago, Washington Gas and The Salvation Army established the Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF) to help heat the homes of people in financial need. The Salvation Army administers WAFF and disburses the funds through its 11 metropolitan area offices. As the corporate sponsor of WAFF, Washington Gas provides support that includes payment of all administrative fees so that 100% of the donations made to WAFF go directly to those in need, no matter what type of fuel is used. Since inception in 1983, WAFF has disbursed more than $20.3 million to more than 240,000 area residents.
4. Washington Gas has become involved in an important solar project near the DC area. Can you tell us about this endeavor?
Over 2,600 solar panels will be installed on a University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) building this summer, resulting in one of the largest rooftop solar power systems in Maryland. UMD was selected as a Maryland Energy Administration Project Sunburst Initiative Partner and awarded a grant promoting the installation of renewable energy systems on public buildings. As a result of a competitive bid process, Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. (WGES), an affiliate of Washington Gas and a subsidiary of WGL Holdings, Inc., will finance the remainder of the project cost. UMD will purchase the electricity generated by the solar panels under a 20-year agreement with WGES. The 631 kilowatt system will produce about 792 megawatt hours of electricity annually.