Aug
19
2013
2:43 pm

Gas South 101: Teaching middle school students about natural gas and household finance

Gas South is thrilled to be part of the Junior Achievement of Georgia’s Chick-fil-A Discovery Center – a $15 million state-of-the art, brand-new interactive experience designed to educate kids about financial literacy and adult responsibilities.

More than 30,000 local middle school students from Atlanta Public, DeKalb County, Fulton County and Marietta City school systems are expected to visit the center in downtown Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center, with doors opening for business on August 20.

What will the unique experience entail? A hands-on learning environment in which kids tackle the ins and outs of managing money. From creating household budgets to making investment decisions, an 18-course classroom curriculum covers many aspects of personal finance, with students then given the opportunity to practice these concepts in real-life scenarios.

That’s where we come in! JA Finance Park, part of the center’s experience, features mock storefronts where students learn to plan for and budget their monthly expenses — including utilities like natural gas.

We’ve spent weeks perfecting our Gas South store, which features an educational wall display to teach students where natural gas comes from, how it is used throughout our community and in our everyday lives. A mock natural gas pipeline and an actual gas meter are included so students learn how natural gas reaches their home and how consumption is measured. We also provide great energy-saving tips that we hope they will share at home.

We’re honored to have the opportunity to help kids master an important life skill. For more information on the Chick-fil-A Junior Achievement Discovery Center, click here. For more information on Gas South community initiatives and updates, visit us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/GasSouth.

Jul
31
2013
7:08 pm

Gas South packs 1,000 summer lunches for Action Ministries

This month, Gas South employees packed nearly 1,000 lunches for Action Ministries’ Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program, which provides summer lunches to children who typically receive free lunch during the school year.  Everyone contributed by bringing peanut butter and jelly, while Gas South donated lunch bags and other supplies. Many employees even invited their own kids to help out!

We also wrote special notes on the bags for the kids to read when they received their lunch.

The break room at our company’s headquarters turned into an assembly line of bread, peanut butter, jelly and a stack of potato chips so high our employees had to stand on their toes to reach the top. Kevin Greiner, our CEO, had a spot in the assembly line and proved to be a whiz with the peanut butter and jelly!

This past week, team members at our call center held a similar event to pack more lunches for the program to help reach our goal of feeding 1,000 children in July.

For the second year in a row, Gas South pledged to help Action Ministries’ Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program meet its goal of providing 200,000 lunches to Georgia children who typically receive free or reduced-price lunches during the school year. With school out for the summer, many of these kids are at risk of going hungry. Action Ministries and Gas South are working to address this problem and provide kids with the nutrition they need.

Gas South is dedicated to helping the communities we serve through our Gas South Cares program. To learn more about Gas South Cares and our community efforts, click here.

Have you volunteered for Smart Lunch, Smart Kid yet? Learn how to get involved here!

Jul
26
2013
11:44 am

Gas South honored by COVA for community service efforts

At Gas South, we are committed to giving back to the communities we serve. That means taking part in social service projects, partnering with local schools, and sponsoring community events. It’s a part of an initiative we call Gas South Cares.

I’m thrilled to report that our efforts have been recognized. Gas South was recently named Corporation of the Year by the Council of Volunteer Administrators (COVA) of Metropolitan Atlanta.

Gas South was nominated for the award by the Georgia chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, one of the oldest and largest charitable organizations in Georgia.

COVA, a nonprofit membership organization of volunteer administrators founded in 1972, awards the Corporation of the Year award to businesses that have expressed a commitment to promoting volunteerism within the workforce.

The award recognizes Gas South employees’ dedication to reinvesting in the hometown community of our company.

Gas South received the award at COVA’s annual meeting, which took place in June. John Berry, president and CEO of Saint Vincent de Paul Georgia, gave the keynote address.

Guests also participated in a silent auction, with all proceeds providing funding for grants to help COVA members attend conferences and professional development workshops.

 

Jul
18
2013
9:10 am

Gas South and the Braves are ‘Bringing the Heat!’

Atlanta Braves fans have a lot to be excited about this year. Led by one of the game’s best pitching rotations, the Braves lead the NL East division at the season’s halfway point and are primed for a playoff run.

We’re cheering and tomahawk chopping to show our support. But the team’s dominant pitching means more than just another shot at a title. Each time a Braves pitcher records a strikeout, Gas South donates $25 to the United Way of Greater Atlanta.

It’s all part of our Bring the Heat™ campaign, now in its sixth season. To date, the Braves have thrown 826 strikeouts, translating into $20,650 donated to the United Way.

Since 2008, Gas South’s Bring the Heat™ program has contributed more than $200,000 to the United Way and other local nonprofit organizations. It’s just another way that we give back to the communities we serve.

So the next time you visit Turner Field to cheer on our Braves this summer, be sure to keep count of how many times a Braves opponent is sent back to the dugout on strikes – and remember that with each ‘K’ recorded, Gas South is helping build a better community.

Click here to read more about Gas South’s community involvement efforts.

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?

Jun
7
2013
12:09 pm

Gas South teams up with Action Ministries to help our neighbors in need

Some of our employees at 11Alive packing sandwiches for Smart Lunch, Smart Kid. (From left: Karen, Kim, Wakeeta, Catherine, Vaughn and Greg)

As part of our Gas South Cares program, we are once again partnering with Action Ministries to provide healthy lunches to needy kids this summer. A staggering 700,000 Georgia children are at risk of going hungry this year and we believe it’s our duty to do what we can to assist our neighbors in need.

Action Ministries’ Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program connects local kids who receive free or reduced-price lunches during the school year with healthy meals and educational enrichment opportunities during the summer months.

This summer, Gas South is volunteering time and resources to help Action Ministries serve as many kids as possible. Gas South has donated $10,000 and 10,000 lunch bags to Smart Lunch, Smart Kid. We kicked off the program on Wednesday with 11Alive and plan to pack 1,000 lunches at our offices next month to contribute to this great cause.

The Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program reaches children in Athens-Clarke, Butts, Carroll, Columbia, DeKalb, Fayette, Floyd, Fulton, Hall and Richmond counties. The goal: serving 200,000 lunches over the next few months.

Packing lunches with 11Alive employees

May
31
2013
5:08 pm

Atlanta, a foodie’s paradise

From the desk of Chris Coan, VP & GM of Business and Governmental Markets at Gas South.

The Atlanta Visitors & Convention Bureau (ACVB) is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. The city will be hosting many events and recognizing great leaders who have helped Atlanta and the ACVB reach this milestone. Atlanta’s reputation as a “foodie’s paradise” is growing rapidly and the ACVB and Gas South are teaming together to sponsor Atlanta’s 100 Signature Dishes. Throughout 2013, chefs from all over Atlanta will feature their signatures dishes and, if you pace yourself, you can eat all 100 entrees by the end of the year. Not to be outdone by the great food, restaurants and bars will also be featuring 100 signature cocktails. Visit your favorite mixologist and try their wonderful creations. If you are wondering where to find all these great places to eat, check out Atlanta Eats.  Gas South is proud to sponsor the new TV show as their host, Steak Shapiro, searches Atlanta for great meals. Visit their website and check out the restaurants featured in season one.

Gas South would also like to congratulate John C. Metz, Jr., CEO, Executive Chef and co-founder of Sterling Spoon Culinary Management. John has been honored as the 2013 Gold Plate Award recipient by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), which recognizes excellence in eight segments of foodservice operations. John is the creator of several Atlanta-area concepts, including Market Street Café, Aqua Blue and Marlow’s Tavern. Gas South has worked with John and his team for many years and greatly appreciates his business and his friendship.

Now it’s time to quench your thirst and enjoy a delicious meal (or 100). As they say in the business, “Come hungry and come often”!

-Chris

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?

May
14
2013
2:55 pm

Providing better customer care

 

At Gas South, it’s our mission to provide the best customer service in the industry. That’s why, about a year ago, we decided to bring our customer care operations in-house.  We hired 100 of the best customer service agents and set about the task of making our already best-in-class service even better.

A year later, I’m proud to report that our commitment has proved to be a smashing success.  For example, since “insourcing” our call center:

- We have seen a 40 percent decrease in escalated calls.

- Customers are now getting the answers they need with a single call 98 percent of the time.

- Annual agent turnover rate has plunged from 35 percent before the change to less than 13 percent today.

In early May, Gas South held a party at our Marietta call center to celebrate these achievements and mark the first anniversary. It was an opportunity to thank the customer care team for their dedication and hard work.

Over the past year, we have invested a significant amount of resources into our customer care operations. We launched an online customer care team to handle inquiries via chat and email, improved our quality assurance process and developed seasonal training courses to ensure that agents provide timely information to customers.  All of these changes have served to empower our call center employees. They’re now even better able to assist our customers with any questions they may have.

It’s all part of Gas South’s commitment to provide the best natural gas service in Georgia.  And we appreciate hearing from our customers about how we are doing.  Send us an email at tellgassouth@gas-south.com.  We appreciate and value your feedback.

Apr
30
2013
5:47 pm

Yes!Atlanta Wins Charity Cornhole Challenge

Wow, what a weekend! I want to thank everyone that came out to SweetWater Brewing Company’s 420 Festival to enjoy the beautiful weather while celebrating Earth Day. We had an amazing time hosting the Gas South Cornhole Challenge and the funds raised through tournament entry fees, t-shirt and koozie sales totaled more than $3,000 dollars. Freddy Bensch, owner of SweetWater Brewery and Kevin Greiner, President and CEO of Gas South stepped up and matched the amount to bring the grand total to $9,000 for our Charity Cornhole Challenge winner.

At 3:00 p.m. on April 21st, 10 of Atlanta’s nonprofits competed for 100% of the weekend proceeds and the coveted title of Charity Cornhole Champion. The competition was tough and ultimately came down to a fierce battle between St. Vincent de Paul’s ’Team a MAZE ing’ and the ‘Yes!Atlanta Holes’ representing Yes!Atlanta. With a final score of 21 -16 the Yes!Atlanta Holes were crowned our triumphant victors.

Gas South and SweetWater Brewery could not be more excited to donate $9,000 dollars to Yes!Atlanta. Yes!Atlanta works to keep at-risk Atlanta teens in high school by eliminating self-defeating behavior through mentoring and tutoring programs. The donation from this weekend will provide funding for four at risk students for one year.

Thanks again to everyone who came out and enjoyed the SweetWater 420 Fest and the Gas South Cornhole Challenge. The weekend lived up to both SweetWater and Gas South’s commitment to providing a great experience and giving back to the communities we serve!

Any ideas on how we might improve our Cornhole Challenge? Leave a comment below!

Cheers,

PJ

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