What does an unheated home feel like? Glad you asked!

On Jan. 21, 2023, the Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF) Ice House was a star attraction at the Fire & Ice at the Wharf DC event on the District Pier. Visitors stepped inside to have their photos taken on the famous Ice Couch while making a donation to help our neighbors stay warm.

YouTube: WAFF Ice House 2023

In 2018, Washington Gas launched the first WAFF Ice House as a way to raise awareness of unheated homes. Designed by Ice Lab, a Baltimore-based company specializing in modern ice carvings, it is created by stacking huge ice blocks to form a 10’ x 20’ single-roomed house. Visitors are invited to experience the conditions facing families with unheated homes and to support local households through WAFF.

More than 120 hours of meticulous ice carving were needed to create the ice blocks and ice couch for the 2023 WAFF Ice House. Each of the +80 blocks weighed approximately 300 pounds, with the total structure tipping the scales at just under 13 tons of pure ice. The talented assembly team began constructing at midnight and had the house completed at dawn, capitalizing on the coldest temperatures of the day.

More About WAFF

Since 1983, WAFF has been helping local families warm their homes during challenging times. A strategic partnership between Washington Gas and The Salvation Army, WAFF has distributed approximately $33 million toward winter heating across D.C., Maryland and Virginia in the past 40 years.

Underserved families spend more than 30 percent of their income on energy bills. WAFF bridges this assistance gap by making emergency funds available for those who need help paying their heating bill. For $500, a family can warm their household all season. Washington Gas pays for all administrative and promotional fees, so 100% of all WAFF donations go directly to heating assistance.*

*WAFF financial statements