WGL Holdings, Inc., is a public utility holding company located in the United States that serves customers in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. The company's Washington Gas Light Company subsidiary distributes natural gas to more than one million customers.WGL is a diversified energy business that provides natural gas, electricity, green power, carbon reduction and energy services and natural gas exploration, production, and storage though its subsidiaries, including Washington Gas, Washington Energy Services, WGL Midstream, and Hampshire Gas.HistoryGenesisWashington, D.C., was decades slower than some other eastern U.S. cities to move from candles or oil to gas for lighting. Baltimore was first, in 1816; New York City was partially lighted with gas in 1825. In 1840, when a gas company for Washington remained only a proposal, a U.S. Senate document argued for gas' salutary effect on the local economy: "fancy and other stores would introduce this light, and thus add to the cheerfulness of the public ways."Among the early proponents of gas was James Crutchett, who bought a house north of the Capitol grounds and lit it with gas. This drew the attention of Congress, which voted him $17,500 to light up the Capitol and helped encourage public support for wider use of gas.A supporter of Crutchett's ideas was Benjamin B. French, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives, who helped attract other important supporters, including William A. Bradley, the city's postmaster and mayor; John F. Callan, a druggist; his brother Michael P. Callan, a Post Office clerk; hardware merchant William H. Harrover; William H. English, a Treasury clerk who became a Congressman from Indiana and later a Vice-Presidential candidate; and Jacob Bigelow, an attorney and abolitionist who later helped escaped slave Ann Maria Weems.