Philadelphia Gas Works

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Philadelphia Gas Works
TypePublic utility
IndustryEnergy industry
ServicesNatural Gas

Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) is the United States' largest municipally owned natural gas utility.


The Acorn gas range, designed by Norman Bel Geddes, from a PGW brochure of c. 1932-33.[1]

PGW began providing gas service to the City of Philadelphia on February 10, 1836, when the city's first 46 gas lights were turned on along Second Street, between Vine and South Streets. In 1841, PGW came under city ownership and in 1897 UGI Corporation (then United Gas Improvement Company) was contracted by the city to operate and manage PGW. Similar contracts were effective until December 1972 at which time the City contracted with nonprofit Philadelphia Facilities Management Corporation (PFMC) to operate and manage PGW. The seven-member board of directors of PFMC is appointed by the Mayor and its responsibilities, as set forth in a Management Agreement between the City and PFMC, make PFMC responsible for all operations of PGW through an executive management team including a chief executive officer, a chief operating officer, and a chief financial officer.[2] By the 1940s, PGW was serving some 500,000 customers in Philadelphia, providing 99% of the gas distributed within the city limits.[3] At this time, the gas provided was primarily carbureted water gas.[3] In 1947, the City of Philadelphia stated that it valued PGW at more than US$100,000,000.[4]

In 2014, the City of Philadelphia attempted to sell PGW to UIL Holdings Corporation for US$1,860,000,000, pending approval from the Philadelphia City Council,[5] which was ultimately declined.[6]


The American Public Gas Association has awarded PGW its 2010 Marketing and Sales Award.[7] In 2009, PGW had an advertising campaign showing customers and the public about the value of natural gas.


  1. ^ Blaszczyk, Regina Lee. (2012) "Imagining Consumers: Norman Bel Geddes and American Consumer Culture", in Norman Bel Geddes Designs America, ed. by Donald Albrecht. New York: Abrams. pp. 70-93 (p. 72).
  2. ^ "Officers Elected for the Board of Philadelphia Facilities Management Corporation − the Governing Body for Philadelphia Gas Works, May 2016" (PDF).
  3. ^ a b Castaneda 1993, pg. 105
  4. ^ Castaneda 1993, pg. 107
  5. ^ Shelly, Jared (March 3, 2014). "PGW under agreement for $1.86 billion". Philadelphia Business Journal. Archived from the original on March 7, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
  6. ^ "UIL ends its bid to buy PGW". Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  7. ^ "PGW Wins National Award". Philadelphia Public Record. James Tayoun, Sr. 2010-09-09. p. 6. Retrieved 2010-09-10. The Philadelphia Gas Works has received the American Public Gas Association's prestigious 2010 Marketing and Sales Award after a national competition. Jeffery Tuttle from CPS Energy said, 'PGW is the oldest municipal gas system in the US and on the eve of the 50th anniversary of APGA, it is an honor to recognize PGW with this Marketing and Sales Award.'


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Coordinates: 39°58′45″N 75°08′57″W / 39.979232°N 75.149268°W / 39.979232; -75.149268