Posts for the Category ‘General’

Feb
11
2016
4:08 pm

Three-Step Winter Survival Guide

Nobody likes spending more on bills when seasons change. So let’s do something about it this winter – take the Winter Survival Guide challenge. Following the three steps could help you save hundreds of dollars over time, if not more.

Step One: Are you on a Variable or Fixed Rate for natural gas?

Check your Gas South bill to see which rate plan you’re on – Variable or Fixed. Now, let’s determine which rate is best for you.

What’s the Difference?

  • Variable Rates do as the name implies – fluctuate every month. What you pay this month could be more than the previous month, because Variable Rate prices are set by demand in the natural gas market.
  • Fixed Rates remain unchanged throughout the term of your contract with Gas South – 6, 12 or 18 months.

Why Choose Fixed?

  • Using 2014 rate prices, Fixed Rate customers saved 38% on natural gas compared to those on a Variable Rate – an average of more than $300 annually!
  • A consistent rate helps you to better manage your household budget.

Why Choose Variable?

  • A Variable Rate should be considered if you are only planning to stay at your current residence for less than six months.
  • If you don’t like contracts, you would also want to choose a Variable Rate.

Money-Saving Tip: Already on a Fixed Rate plan? Make sure you check when your plan expires. If you don’t renew your Fixed Rate plan in time, you’ll be automatically placed on a Variable Rate which will likely lead to a spike in your gas bill.

Step Two: Energy-Saving Tips to do at Home

The less energy you use, the less you spend on bills – it’s that simple. So if you’ve taken step one, let’s keep moving in the right direction by applying the simple tips that are listed below, which can also have a major impact on your bill.

  • Set Your Thermostat to 68 Degrees! For every degree lowered in the 60-to-70-degree heating range, you’ll save 5% on your heating costs. So, just a 2 degree decrease, from 70 to 68 degrees, rounds up to a 10% cut in your energy expenses.
  • Seal Ducts! An often overlooked energy-waster is leaking ductwork, which can account for 25 to 30% of heating costs in some homes! If you’re comfortable doing a little DIY, check the tightness of ducts and be sure to plug any visible open spots with insulation material. You can also consider hiring a contractor to do it for you.
  • Increase Ceiling Insulation! Want a quick 5 to 25% reduction in heating loss? Look above you – if your ceiling is uninsulated or scantily done so, it’s costing you money. For best results, consider increasing your insulation to up to R-38.
  • Plug Door and Outlet Leaks! Check your doors and windows – they could be responsible for up to 10% of your energy costs being wasted. You can fix this by installing weather-stripping or caulk around leaky doors and windows.

For more energy-saving tips, check out Gas South’s guide: www.gas-south.com/PageContents/PDF/EnergySavingTips.pdf

Step Three: Treat Yourself to a Free Perk

Congrats! Now that you’ve completed the Winter Survival Guide challenge, you’re an energy-saving machine, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop saving.

How about free tickets to one of Georgia’s top attractions? As a Gas South customer, you can Pick Your Perk for free ticket entertainment options such as the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Stone Mountain Park and more. You deserve it after completing steps one and two! Learn more: www.gas-south.com/campaigns/pick-a-perk.aspx

Now that we’ve equipped you with the tools you need to save energy and money, you can rest easy during the coldest months of the year! Good luck and happy saving!

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Jan
22
2016
11:52 am

Celebrating 10 Years of Gas South

On January 4th, we began the 10 Days of Gas South – celebrating the company’s 10 year anniversary! Each day had a theme where employees could share pictures on their personal Twitter accounts using the hashtag #10YearsofGasSouth. Employees who participated in the activities were entered into prize drawings and winners were randomly selected throughout the 10 days. See the pictures below to find out how employees took part in the 10 Days of Gas South!

Day One: 10 Years Ago…
Gas South’s first day as a company!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Day Two
: Good Deed Day
Employees did good deeds for coworkers today!

Day Three: Health and Wellness Day
Employees showed us how they stay healthy and enjoyed chair massages at the office. 

Day Four: #TBT Day

Employees wore their favorite 2006 fashion trends!


Day Five: Employees shared pictures in their new 10th anniversary polos!


Day Six: Gas South 10th Anniversary Party

Day Seven: Family and Friends Day – Employees shared pictures of what they do in their free time.


Day Eight: A History of Gas South Day – Check out our old Gas South slogans.


Day Nine: Lunch Buddy Day – Employees enjoyed a catered lunch to keep the celebration rolling!


Day Ten: “10 Things we Love about Gas South” Day

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May
22
2015
2:58 pm

Memorial Day

Many people know that Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States and is a day of remembrance for those who have been killed while serving in the country’s armed forces. What many people don’t know is that Memorial Day was first known as Decoration Day. The day originated after the Civil War to commemorate Union and Confederate soldiers who died. In the 20th century, the day was extended to honor all Americans who were killed while in the military service.

During this time of honor and remembrance we would like to take the opportunity to thank Gas South employees who served our country:

Air Force
Sandra K. (Mills) Hamilton, Customer Service Representative

Army
LaTitia “Tish” Winbush, Customer Service Representative
Rhonda Garrett, Customer Service Representative
Tiara Allen, Customer Service Representative
Stephon White, Accountant

Navy
Juawana (Croswell) Glass, Executive Assistant and Human Resources Coordinator
Michael Clark Guice, Customer Service Representative

On Memorial Day Weekend, many people visit cemeteries and memorials to honor the fallen, and there’s no shortage of events and ceremonies to attend in the Atlanta area.

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Feb
12
2015
9:18 am

Gas South invites a special group of Atlanta-area children to experience The Greatest Show on Earth

Gas South is excited to take over 300 children with special needs and their families to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Legend Circus for a truly magical experience.

This will be Gas South’s sixth year taking children to the circus, and it is always the highlight of my year.

The children and their families will be hosted on the show floor to participate in hands-on activities such as face painting, interacting with circus performers, and dressing up with the clowns. Activities are designed for children with a range of special needs who otherwise may not be able to enjoy the “Greatest Show on Earth.”

 

 Take a look at the smiles on these kids’ faces at last year’s event

 

The pre-show activities are designed specifically for children with a range of special needs. Children with hearing impairments will be provided with sign language interpreters for the floor show and circus performance, while the pre-show elements for children with visual impairments will focus on touch and sound experiences. Feld also works with each venue to provide wheelchair access and seating for other mobility devices.

 

Isaac Afolabi of Duluth gives a thumbs up to Jimmy Burnette, mayor of Suwanee, Ga., at last year’s Magical Journey

 

We’re grateful to our partners, the Metro Atlanta Mayors Association, the Georgia Municipal Association and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s Circus producer, Feld Entertainment for making these events possible each year.

This event allows the children and their families, who rarely get the opportunity to enjoy the simple thrills of childhood, to take a break from the day-to-day challenges they face and just have fun for a night.

 

Parents, Todd and Lila Cooperiter of Brookhaven, soak in the moment with son, Colin at last year’s Magical Journey

 

We hope you can join us for a fun night at the circus!

Gas South customers can save 20 percent on tickets to The Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey® Circus. Click here to check out the offer, and we’ll see you at the circus!

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Sep
12
2014
12:35 pm

Can you have it all?

I was asked to speak at a conference this month on work/life balance.  Upon reflection, I recalled a poem from college by Kurt Tucholsky, “Das Ideal.”  In its essence, the poem encapsulates his idea of a perfect life:

 

“Yeah, you’d like that:

A villa in the countryside with an ample terrace,

faces the Pacific, backs up to Central Park (that’s the idea anyway) …”

 

Through the poem, Tucholsky paints a picture of the perfect life, one in which you can have it all. His ideal includes beautiful views of the mountains from the bathroom, servants, old wine, lots of money, splendid children, etc.  While the bottles of wine sound pretty good to me at the moment, we all have our own versions of the ideal, don’t we?  Yours likely varies from mine but the concept is the same – we all want to “truly have it all.”

Having it all – a high-paying and fulfilling career, a big family, ample free time to spend doing things you love, enough time with your spouse, caring for your children, and remaining an active member of the community.

Doesn’t having it all sound great? Juggling careers, families, and enough free time to enjoy the pleasures in life … totally doable.

In fact, that’s malarkey.  The “wonder woman” lifestyle, being a full-time career woman, mother, and community volunteer, is highly over-rated (if not impossible).  What is useful, however, are a few tips from someone who’s been around the block a few times and would like to see you get close to your own version of the ideal.

First step:  prioritize.  It took years of ignoring my husband and my therapist before I realized they were right.  You can’t do it all. Everything is not of equal importance.  So, what should you focus on first?  YOU!  If you aren’t healthy (mentally and physically) then you can’t effectively help your kid with homework, attend a reception with your spouse or answer that next darned email that comes right after you finish working through your inbox at 12:30 am.  You need to budget time during the week to take care of yourself – get some exercise, for goodness sake get some quiet time, and do whatever makes you happy.  Your family comes second. That may sound harsh, but if you don’t take care of yourself first then you can’t be there to take care of your family.  Third: let’s talk about work and where you are apt to make the biggest contribution and get the biggest bang for your buck.  Note – keeping an empty email box is not the answer.  Instead, think of the bigger picture. If you could do one thing to make your company better, what would it be?  Spend some time on the important things – the day-to-day issues will be there regardless.

Second step: learn to say “No.”  (PLEASE don’t let my mother read this.)  Yes, she’s right too – you simply can’t say yes to everything.  One must set boundaries.  “Five board positions and a full time job?!” my psychiatrist said to me one day.  “Consider one or two max.”  You can’t be everything to everyone, even though everyone may want you on their team.  Prioritize outside work life too.  Giving back to the community is fantastic as long as it doesn’t mean robbing you of yourself.  I encourage you to find one passion and pursue it with gusto.

Last step:  find out what’s meaningful to your family.  We spend most of our time at work, and the added time for the daily commute, the after-hours emails and the like add on to time away from family.  That means we need to maximize the bang for the buck.  A mentor used to tell me, “Ask your kids what means most to them and then re-ask every year.”  That’s great advice for prioritizing which family activities are the most important.  I might feel bad about missing a practice my child doesn’t care about, but she might love for me to take her to school when that doesn’t really take any extra time out of my day.  Focus on activities that can make the biggest impact on your family.  Ask each family member what means the most to them and see what they say, then try to make that one thing happen.

Kurt Tucholsky was nothing if not an idealist. But what he depicts in his poetry is far from easy to obtain, and in reality we are seldom privy to such luxuries as wealth, servants, and bottomless wine (although we can only hope).  What we can do is focus on what is important and prioritize accordingly.  Work, family, and personal needs all need to find balance in your life. Be prepared to let some things fall off the radar.  And, be okay with your own version of the ideal.

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Jun
12
2014
5:38 pm

Natural gas safety for your home

Natural gas is one of the cleanest and most reliable energy sources, but there are safety measures to keep in mind when using it around the home.

It’s important to understand how to recognize and respond to leaking or damaged pipelines.

Check out our DOs and DON’Ts for managing natural gas in your home:

DO:

  • Learn all you can about natural gas. The more you know…the safer you’ll be.
  • If you detect the smell of natural gas in the air, don’t stay—get away. You should then contact Atlanta Gas Light immediately at 877.427.4321 or call 9-1-1. In its purest form, natural gas is colorless and odorless. A harmless chemical called mercaptan is added to natural gas to give it the distinctive, rotten egg odor.
  • Look for the blue flame. If pilot lights and burners have a steady, blue flame they are operating correctly. (Decorative gas fire logs are the only exception. Their flame is usually yellow.)
  • Have all gas appliances, furnaces, vents, flues, chimneys and gas lines in your home or business inspected every year or two by qualified industry professionals.
  • Keep the areas around all appliances and equipment clean and unblocked to allow for proper air flow.
  • Follow manufacturer instructions for the care and use of gas appliances and equipment.
  • Make sure there is at least one multipurpose fire extinguisher in your home or place of business.
  • Review these natural gas safety tips regularly with ALL family members and coworkers.

DON’T:

  • Never let small children play with, or near, natural gas appliances or pipes.
  • Don’t use your stove or oven for anything other than cooking (for instance, to heat your home) under any circumstances.
  • Never move, install a gas appliance, or change a connector for any reason without professional assistance.
  • Do not use a space heater UNTIL you are sure it has been vented properly. If using a vent-free heater, make sure the automatic cut-off switch is operational.
  • Don’t install a gas appliance yourself, unless you are a qualified contractor. Instead, you should always seek professional assistance.
  • Never store household chemicals or combustible materials near gas appliances.
  • Above all, don’t forget to learn what to do if you ever smell natural gas in the air: call AGL at 877.427.4321 or 9-1-1 immediately!

Follow these safety tips and you will have a warm, happy and safe home powered by natural gas.

Questions? Ask us in the comment section below!

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Apr
4
2014
6:37 pm

Let’s clear the air: Tax credit for low-emissions commercial vehicles is a wise investment in our future

Too often, public discourse about our environment dissolves into zero-sum game arguments, with any potential policy change tallied as a win for either “green” advocates or big business. This line of thinking is predicated on a misguided assumption: that the interests of these two parties are necessarily at odds.

Fortunately in Georgia, that’s simply not the case. Consider House Bill 348, a common-sense piece of legislation sponsored by State Rep. Don Parsons, R-Marietta, that passed the General Assembly last week with strong bi-partisan support.

The legislation establishes tax credits for commercial alternative fuel vehicles purchased in Georgia. That could mean a delivery van powered by natural gas, or a service truck that runs on electricity.

The goal is to create meaningful incentives for companies to upgrade their fleets and put more low-emission vehicles on our state’s roads and highways. This legislation also helps us to remain competitive with other states like Florida and Oklahoma that have enacted laws that have accelerated the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles.

Georgia is a transportation hub, and our logistics industry is a major contributor to our economy and jobs.  However, motor vehicle exhaust is also one of the largest contributors to poor air quality in Georgia, exacerbating a host of respiratory and circulatory issues, from asthma to heart disease.

The impact is far-reaching: In Cobb alone, more than 15,000 children and nearly 150,000 adults have asthma, according to the American Lung Association.  The cost of dirty air is measured in school absences, doctor’s visits, trips to the emergency room, and hospital admissions.

Clean energy vehicles that run on natural gas or electricity can help to keep our economy strong while also reducing harmful smog causing emissions by up to 90 percent. They also reduce our reliance on oil imports.

House Bill 348 specifically covers commercial vehicles powered by alternative fuels such as natural gas, electricity, propane, or hydrogen. Each of these fuels produce significantly lower emissions than diesel or gasoline, and are derived some domestic sources of energy. Compressed natural gas (CNG) is the most popular alternative fuel for commercial fleets, as it is widely available and significantly less expensive than gasoline or diesel – about $1.50 to $2 less per gallon.

The savings can be substantial. DeKalb County, which recently converted its sanitation fleet to use CNG, estimates it will save $3 million over an eight-year period. Atlanta-based UPS is able to keep its shipping rates low by fueling delivery trucks with CNG.

Not long ago, the idea of plugging in your car or filling the tank with natural gas seemed nothing short of science fiction. But technology has advanced rapidly. CNG stations are now located throughout Georgia, while electric vehicle charging stations are common sights in many parking garages.

Our state legislature and Rep. Parsons in particular, should be applauded for taking steps to encourage the use of alternative fuel sources. It’s a modest investment that promises to pay great dividends down the road in the form of cleaner air, greater energy independence, a stronger economy, and healthier lives.

You can also find my article on HB 348 on The Marietta Daily Journal’s website here.

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Mar
11
2014
2:23 pm

Struggling with higher heating costs? You could be eligible for assistance!

Georgia has experienced an unusually cold winter this year. Thousands of families throughout the state are struggling with higher-than-usual heating costs — and Gas South feels it important to let you know there are local resources to help.

Several non-profits are offering financial assistance or have extended programs helping those who are most in need. As a company committed to advancing the communities in which we live, work and serve, Gas South works with these organizations — such as the Salvation Army’s Project SHARE — and urges those who need help to reach out to them.

Here are some organizations and programs that may be able to help. Additional information is also available on the ‘Paying your Bill‘ page of Gas South’s website.

  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)                                                                             Department of Human Resources
    Community Service Section
    Two Peachtree Street, NW, Suite 19-228
    Atlanta, GA 30303-3180
    404-657-3426 or 1-800-869-1150 (Toll Free)
    http://www.dhr.georgia.gov/

 

 

Each organization establishes its own criteria for assistance eligibility, which can be based on income or available funds, so we advise you to call or visit the web pages listed above for more details.

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Jan
9
2014
9:33 am

Brrr!!! Higher bill this month?

It’s Mother Nature…but you can do something about it

Did you know what a “Polar Vortex” was before this week? Nope, neither did we. For those of us who had the recent “pleasure” of experiencing its frigid fringe, we learned that, as the name suggests, it’s very, very cold. So cold, in fact, that for a night, Atlanta was even chillier than Moscow, Russia, at 5  ̊F. That was just the temperature reading, however. Throw in the wind-chill factor and it felt like -11 on Peachtree Street Tuesday morning – a record-setter in the normally pleasant state of Georgia.

As expected, the local news was filled with how-to advice for battling the plunging temperatures. One segment even featured Gas South Vice President of HR & External Affairs, Meredith Hodges, who said that natural gas consumption was more than 20 percent higher in Georgia this past December than in the previous two years. And more bad news: January could be even higher! That means homes across the country could experience “bill shock” because of increased heating costs.

Since you may be using more gas than usual, your bills could be higher than you’d expect. As the temperature drops, your furnace must work even harder to keep your home warm. During this cold snap, follow a few easy energy saving tips, so you can stay comfortable AND save money. Did you know that decreasing the thermostat temperature by one degree can lower your bill by 3 percent? Or that that 40 percent of the energy loss in your home is due to leakage? We hope these energy-saving tips, some of which take little to no time or money to implement, will make a big difference for you.

In the meantime, stay warm!

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Dec
10
2013
2:52 pm

Save money and energy with these simple year-round tips

Hey, what happened to fall in Georgia this year? Sure, the colors changed as planned, but doesn’t it seem like we skipped the pleasant transition of sunny, warm days with cool nights and went straight to scraping ice off the windshield and rummaging around the attic for ugly holiday sweaters?

All of this means one thing, of course – You’re using more gas to heat your home. However, there are things you can do to help offset higher energy bills. Follow these simple and important tips and you’ll be well on your way to saving energy this winter:

Lower the Temperature: In the winter, set your thermostat to 68°F when you’re home or 60°F when you’re away. But do not turn it off. It will cost more to reheat your home from colder temperatures than to keep it at 60°F. This can save 5-20% on your heating costs. Even lowering your heat by one degree during any 24-hour period can decrease your heating bill by up to 3%.

Maintain your heating system: Keep the filter clean and make sure that rugs and furniture are not blocking vents inside the house. Hire a licensed contractor to inspect your unit and consider upgrading old units for improved efficiency.

Insulate your home and seal your windows and doors: More than 40% of residential energy loss is due mainly to air leakage – yikes! Add caulk or weather stripping to windows and doors to reduce energy-sapping drafts. Caulk around pipes, ducts, vents or other openings in walls, floors, ceiling and attic.

Run appliances with full loads: Running the dryer or dishwasher with small loads uses the same energy as running them with full loads.

Open blinds and drapes during the day: Let the sun shine in during the winter for added warmth. Close at night to prevent drafts and loss of heat through the glass.

Stay warm, Georgians! For more great tips, visit our website.

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