If you look at your WGL bill, you will see two main services: distribution service and natural gas supply service. Customer choice means that you can choose the provider of your natural gas supply service. Market forces determine the prices of the natural gas supply. If you buy your natural gas supply from WGL, the price is called the Purchased Gas Charge (PGC). The PGC covers the costs to WGL to procure natural gas as well as the costs to store the natural gas and transport the natural gas to the service territory. The Public Service Commission (Commission) audits WGL's PGC at least twice a year and WGL is not allowed to earn a profit on its PGC. The Commission sets the distribution service charges through rate case proceedings. WGL is the only company that owns the pipes and mains in the District to deliver natural gas to homes and businesses.
There are four (4) Customer Choice programs, covering all residential and commercial customers. The first program was implemented in 1988 for interruptible customers. The second program, for large commercial customers, was approved by the Commission in January 1998 in GT 96-2. It was implemented in April 1998. The third program is for residential customers. The Commission approved it as a pilot program in GT 96-3 in April 1998. It was implemented in January 1999. The Commission approved it as a full-scale program in 2001. The fourth program serves small commercial customers. The Commission approved the program in GT 97-3 in April 1999 as a pilot program and approved it as a full-scale program in 2002.