• Want Some Free Money? Go With Natural Gas
    While it's clear that natural gas is a great option for heating your home, your water, and your stove, making the switch to high-efficiency equipment can be a big investment. Even though the savings from switching to natural gas will make up for some of the cost, many people need a little extra help to get that new natural gas heater up and running.

    Well, if you live in Virginia, it's time to take action, because Washington Gas is offering its Virginia customers a limited-time rebate on the purchase of high-efficiency natural gas water heaters. The rebates will come to the first 1,400 customers who buy a qualified natural gas tankless, with an energy efficiency factor (EF) of .82 or greater, or natural gas storage water heater, with an energy efficiency factor (EF)of .62 or greater, and have it installed by a licensed contractor between November 1, 2010 and October 31, 2011.

    Clearly the time has never been better to go with gas. Those installing a tankless water heater with an EF of .82 or higher receive a $250 rebate, while those putting in a storage water heater with an EF of .62 or greater, l get $50 back. Not only will the rebate make your wallet thicker, but the greater efficiency of your new equipment will slice the top off your gas bill.

    Once you have your major pieces of heating equipment in place, there's still more to be done to make sure your home is as cozy as it should be. Proper checkups to ensure the correct and efficient workings of your heating system are essential, and installing a programmable thermostat can make sure the temperature is just how you like it.

    Washington Gas is also offering to help its Virginia customers with these tasks. The first 8,500 customers to buy a qualified programmable thermostat and have it installed by a licensed contractor or to have a licensed contractor perform a heating system checkup between November 1, 2010 and October 31, 2011, will be eligible for a $30 rebate. Go and grab the offer while you can.

    The rebates will come in the form of an American Express® debit card, which you can joyfully spend on things that have nothing to do with thermostats, water heaters, or licensed contractors. Perhaps a bottle of fancy bubble bath to help you enjoy your newly efficient hot water will be in order, or, better yet, new, gleaming silver knobs for your shower, so you can better appreciate the moment when you crank up the heat. See the Washington Gas Rebates website for full details of these opportunities.

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  • Read All About It! New Energy of the City Magazine and Website
    You may have heard that natural gas is the cleanest of the fossil fuels. Switching to gas can be an eco-friendly decision in an era of eco-distress. And it's just as well, too; who doesn't prefer cooking on a gas range?

    To explore the ins and outs of eco-friendly design and living, including the way gas can fit into the greening of your home, Washington Gas is now publishing an annual, full-color magazine called Energy of the City, available free to all at Metro stations every spring.

    The magazine is complemented by a new Energy of the City website, which offers full online access to the magazine's content and a series of additional Web-only video features. Inside the magazine and the website, you'll find a selection of categories highlighting different aspects of eco-friendly living:

    • The Energy of Style section offers creative ideas for transforming your house or apartment. Thinking about a green remodel? This is for you.
    • In Energy of Life, get the latest on up-and-coming communities in and around DC. Looking to move some place new? Look no further.
    Energy of Sustainability has got a slew of practical tips for saving money, recycling, redecorating, and incorporating natural gas into your home.
    • The Energy of Health section offers tips to improve your inner being-exercise, seasonal eating, yoga-so it can have energy as harmonious as your redesigned pad.
    • In Energy of Trends, find out the hippest and earth-friendliest ways to redecorate, remodel, or simply rearrange the furniture.

    From the Energy of the City website, you can submit your own story about a remodeling project you've undertaken-it might be used in a future issue of the magazine. There are also prominent links to a map of Washington Gas locations, a guide for converting to natural gas, and three full pages of resources for hearth products, HVAC, water heating, generators, outdoor products, and professional associations.

    Spring 2011 will bring the third issue of Energy of the City. If you missed either of the first two issues, both chock full of useful advice and engaging content, check them out in the online archive of back issues. And keep an eye out at your nearest Metro station next spring when you've finally had it with your electric water heater after a long winter-the magazine is sure to have a few ideas to get the wheels turning.

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  • Energy of the City: Green Living from Every Angle

    Washington Gas's Energy of the City magazine, now in its second year of publication, and its accompanying Website, launched this month, offer a slew of interesting tips for living green. The five sections cover everything from sustainability to health, setting down ideas for how to pinch a penny, recycle better, or design a hipper house.

    In the Spring 2010 issue of the magazine, our local writers offer some neat design and decoration advice, bring you insider info on great DC places, and set down some tips of earth-friendly eating. Here's a snapshot of what you can find on the Energy of the City website and in the 2010 issue of the magazine:

    • In Energy of Style: "Eco-cool design" features lamps made from mulberry tree bark and silk cocoons, an easy chair woven from rattan vines, and picture frames cobbled together with recycled tires or computer motherboards. If you're looking into appliances, take note of the energy-efficient gas stoves in colors like Candy Red, Flamingo Pink, and Robin's Egg Blue.

    • In Energy of the Life: "Community Spotlight" highlights four up-and-coming DC-area neighborhoods-New Southwest Waterfront, Reston Town Center, National Harbor, and Bethesda Row. Just when you were getting bored, there are new places to explore, each with its own shops, restaurants, and events to satisfy all tastes.

    • In Energy of Sustainability: "Recycled Renovations" sets down some great trash-into-treasure advice, including suggestions of installing recycled aluminum countertops, trying out flooring taken from old wine barrels, or choosing carpets made from recycled plastic soda bottles and milk jugs.

    • In Energy of Health: "Is Your Salad Green?" profiles Sweetgreen in Georgetown, a café serving up custom salads and tart frozen yogurt, which uses tables made from reclaimed bowling alleys, floors and ceilings of old barn wood, utensils made from corn starch, and take-out menus lined with wildflower seeds (which will indeed sprout if planted).

    • In Energy of Trends: "Low Carbon Cooking" advises home cooks to replace animal products with plants, eat seasonally and locally, get minimally processed pre-made meals from sources like Corner Cuisine or Let's Dish, or do a prep session there to make cooking at home easier.

    There's much more where this came from. Whether you're interested in green remodeling, advice on converting to natural gas, alternative exercise ideas, or ideas on the effective use of color in your home, Energy of the City has you covered.

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