Posts Tagged ‘natural gas’

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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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
17
2014
4:11 pm

Play Ball!

After a long, cold winter and a six-month hiatus, baseball season is finally back.   So what better way to take in last week’s Atlanta Braves home-opener than hanging out with 350 friends, witnessing the special 40-year commemoration of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, and spending time with a former boxing heavyweight world champ?

The friends were in fact realtors who attended the 3rd Annual Realtor Appreciation Day, hosted by Gas South, Atlanta Peach Movers, Silverton Mortgage and Pierre & Associates.  It was a great way for us to celebrate, and thank the real estate agents who have helped make our Realtor Advantage Program (RAP) a success.

And the champ? Local legend Evander Holyfield, who even took up cornhole for the night, made possible by Gas South’s Cornhole Challenge. The verdict: He could compete for the ‘cornholder’ championship title, too!

Adding more buzz to the night was the kickoff of our Summer RAP contest. We’re giving away an iPad in May, and every realtor who refers a client to Gas South will be entered into the drawing.

We all had fun and we were thankful for the opportunity to show our appreciation to our realtor partners, who had a great time too!

So here’s to doing it again next year. Go Braves!

 

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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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Jul
11
2013
5:45 pm

Natural gas exports on the rise

Over the past few years, the U.S. energy landscape has been transformed.

New drilling techniques have unlocked vast reserves of natural gas within shale rock formations and as the supply of natural gas soared, prices dropped. The U.S. is now producing more oil and gas than it imports. Experts are even raising the possibility that the country may one day be energy independent.

All of this serves as background to discuss an interesting development in the natural gas industry: The federal government recently granted permission for a terminal on the Gulf Coast of Texas to ship liquefied natural gas to Japan.

Now, this may not sound like a big deal. But gas producers have been lobbying to increase the amount of natural gas they can send overseas. Gas prices are much higher on the global market than they are here at home.

The decision is seen by many industry observers as an indication of the government’s willingness to approve even more gas exporting agreements. (Terminals are allowed to export natural gas to countries with whom the U.S. has a free trade agreement, but they must seek government approval to send gas elsewhere.)

So, what does this trend mean for the natural gas industry?

One concern is that exporting more natural gas will reduce domestic supply, raising prices for consumers. However, some say an increase in prices will provide an incentive for companies to produce more natural gas, keeping prices in check.

It’s important to remember that the volume of natural gas deposits accessible via new drilling techniques is vast. The contemplated increase in gas exports is comparatively much smaller and some expect a limited impact on domestic prices.

At Gas South, our natural gas experts study the industry closely with one goal in mind: to offer our customers great prices and the most reliable service.

So, what do you think about exporting natural gas?

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May
24
2013
2:27 pm

Hot topics: natural gas, manufacturing and exporting LNG

Last week, Gas South had the opportunity to host some of Georgia’s largest manufacturers at the Cherokee Town Club in Atlanta. We heard from industry experts, economists and lawyers regarding hot topics in the natural gas business.

We discussed the state of the natural gas market and listened to a presentation given by our very own Supply and Risk Management Manager, Michael Swartzell. We also explored the potential impact of exporting Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) and how it would affect the U.S. economy, a great discussion led by Roger Tutterow of Mercer University. The group also gained insight into the process of fracking through a session with Mr. Walt Standisky of Roper Pump Company. Lastly, David Wochner of Sutherland Asbill and Brennan gave an update on the regulatory environment for LNG and fracking.

The major takeaways from the sessions were:

- Natural gas is domestic, plentiful and changing the energy landscape of the United States

- The U.S. is the #1 producer of natural gas in the world

- Economists are predicting the shale gas boom to continue and that by 2040 annual natural gas production will rise by 50%

- Only two LNG export terminals are operating in the U.S.

- World demand and higher prices in other markets will continue to drive producers to push for more export terminals

- It is uncertain how many LNG export terminals will be approved by the Department of Energy

- Even with growing LNG exports, the increase in shale gas production should offset the offshore demand and keep prices stable

- The regulatory environment is not moving quickly and it is unlikely that any ruling will significantly impact prices

The following chart shows the huge increase in shale gas production expected by 2040.

Do you think exporting LNG is good for the US economy?

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Mar
1
2013
4:46 pm

Natural Gas 101 – AGL Pass-Through Charges

In the last installment of the ‘Natural Gas 101’ series here on ‘The Hot Spot,’ we talked about your DDDC Factor. Today, we will help you understand AGL Pass-Through Charges.

What are the AGL Pass-Through Charges?

Have you ever looked at your natural gas bill and wondered what AGL Pass-Through Charges are? Maybe you’ve asked “Who is AGL?” and “What exactly is passed through?”  Well, Atlanta Gas Light Company (AGL) is the company that owns the pipeline system that delivers natural gas to your property.  The AGL Pass-Through Charges represent AGL’s costs for maintaining the natural gas pipelines and storage facilities, as well as reading your meter each month.  Rather than receiving a separate bill from AGL, these monthly charges are sent to your natural gas marketer (in your case, Gas South) and those charges are “passed through” to you – without any additional cost or mark-up.  You’ll see the charges from AGL on your Gas South bill, just like in the sample bill below.

When will I get charged the AGL Pass-Through Charges?

AGL Pass-Through Charges are assessed on the 20th of every month for the next month of service. The sample bill above includes AGL Pass-Through charges for the month of August.

AGL assesses the full monthly pass-through charges each month regardless of the actual number of days you receive service or the amount of gas you use in that particular month.  You’ll see the monthly AGL Pass-Through charge on each bill as the AGL charges are spread over an entire year rather than when gas is used.

How are they calculated and what exactly do the AGL Pass-Through Charges cover?

Your AGL Pass-Through Charges are exactly the same regardless of which natural gas marketer you choose.  These charges are calculated by AGL and regulated by the Georgia Public Service Commission.

AGL Pass-Through Charges vary by month and are independent of your current month’s gas usage. They will vary by month and tend to be higher in the winter months.

What are the factors AGL uses to calculate your monthly charges?

The AGL charges include:

-Customer Charge: A fixed monthly fee for gas connection to your home or business.

-Ancillary Service: Covers the cost of AGL to read your meter.

-Social Responsibility Fee: Covers the cost of funding the Senior Citizens’ Discount Program for low-income customers. (This does not apply to customers who receive the senior citizens’ discount.)

-Strategic Infrastructure Development and Enhancement (STRIDE): Covers the cost of specific Georgia Public Service Commission-approved programs to maintain the integrity and reliability of the AGL pipeline system.

What charges are based on your DDDC?

-Dedicated Design Day Capacity (DDDC): A charge that recovers costs associated with delivering gas to your home or business.

-Peaking Service: Covers the fixed cost of operating company-owned above-ground storage facilities. This ensures an adequate supply of gas on the coldest days of the year. This service is only charged to customers in certain areas of the state.

-Franchise Recovery Fee (FRF): Recovers fees paid by AGL to local governments for the use of public rights-of-way for natural gas lines and other facilities.

-Environmental Response Cost (ERC) Recovery Fee: Recovers expenses related to cleanup of former manufactured gas plant sites.

For more information, visit Gas South’s Frequently Asked Questions or AGL’s Guide to Atlanta Gas Light Charges.

 

 

 

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