Monthly Archives: January 2013

Tracy Burleson The 2013 New American Home® – A must see at the NAHB International Builders’ Show

Guest Blogger: Ling Yu of Southwest Gas

Homes constructed to maximize energy efficiency and sustainability are quickly becoming the industry standard. Today’s homes are being built with the latest energy-efficient technologies and feature innovative building materials, cutting-edge designs and the latest construction techniques. Visitors will have the opportunity to see how these emerging technologies and products converge inside the 2013 New American Home at the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, NV. This dynamic home will be open for free daily tours from Jan. 22 through 24 via free shuttle buses (ticket required) departing every half hour from the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The New American Home, constructed by custom builder Blue Heron, demonstrates that high-performance housing techniques can be aesthetically incorporated into the most simple or most complex homes. Taking advantage of a comprehensive design approach, the three-story, 6,712-square-foot home achieves an extraordinary level of energy efficiency. Not only does the home optimize solar resources, but it also utilizes high-efficiency natural gas appliances and incorporates a landscape design that helps limit water and energy demand. Once completed, the New American Home is expected to receive a number of energy and environmental awards and certifications.

The New American Home’s large array of natural gas features and appliances are impressive, from energy saving, high-efficiency gas heat pumps for heating and cooling, to ultra-sleek indoor and outdoor fire features for comfort and ambience, and outdoor rooms fully equipped with natural gas appliances for entertaining and relaxing. The efficiency created by using natural gas is just one of the countless ways this home reduces its carbon footprint. The home also features a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling appliance supplied by Southwest Gas, which delivers a convenient, on-site way to refuel CNG vehicles using the home’s existing natural gas supply line.

Natural gas plays an important role in increasing household energy efficiency while also being extremely cost effective. Appliances using this fuel help consumers save money and increase comfort while improving the environment. Households with natural gas heating, cooking and clothes drying spend almost 30 percent less on average than households with appliances that run on other types of energy.

With builder confidence for newly built single-family homes at its highest level since 2006, the International Builders’ Show and the New American Home offer the perfect opportunity to experience what everyone is talking about in energy-efficient housing and natural gas technologies.

Reminder: AGA will also be participating in IBS on Jan. 22 through 24 as part of the American Natural Gas and Propane Industries exhibit (C2614). Stop by to meet with dozens of manufactures and learn about the latest industry innovations and technology.

*Statements of fact or opinion in this blog post are the responsibility of Southwest Gas alone and do not imply an opinion or endorsement on the part of the American Gas Association.

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Lisa O'Leary American Gas Association Launches New Twitter Handle

AGA kicked off the New Year by launching a new and improved Twitter handle in an effort to become more recognizable in the growing natural gas conversation. We are pleased to introduce @AGA_naturalgas to our list of social media platforms.

“The conversation about energy is a discussion about the future of our nation. Social media is a big part of our comprehensive strategy to lead a fact-based dialogue and help educate the public about the benefits of natural gas,” said AGA President & CEO Dave McCurdy.

Followers of our former handle, @naturagasflk, were automatically transferred to @AGA_naturalgas and do not need to make any changes. Followers will continue to receive tweets they’ve come to expect, including news about the association and our more than 200 member utilities, natural gas vehicles and much more.

To help spread the word, we encourage you to retweet and share content as we make this announcement throughout the month of January. Join us online by checking the AGA websiteTrue Blue Natural Gas Blog, our Facebook page and new Twitter handle.

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Lisa O'Leary AGA Releases Statement in Response to Passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act

AGA released the following statement in response to the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act.

“This package is one that has significant implications for investors, our economy and industry across the board,” said AGA President and CEO, Dave McCurdy. “While it is disappointing that the White House and Congress weren’t able to reach a broad, comprehensive agreement to address the long term deficit, the agreement reached today is a step in the right direction. We have managed to get some short term certainty with this legislation, and we will continue our efforts in 2013 to help find a bipartisan solution to the important fiscal challenges that still need to be addressed.”

The deal will preserve and make permanent 15 percent tax rates for dividends and capital gains for individuals earning up to $400,000 or couples earning up to $450,000, while dividends and capital gains for families who earn more than $450,000 will be taxed at 20 percent—also permanent.

“AGA and its members have continued to emphasize the importance of low dividends, parity with capital gains and what those actions mean for our economy, investors, retirees and industry,” said AGA Board Chairman and Chairman, President and CEO – Questar Corp., Ron Jibson. “We are still in recovery mode, and I am pleased to see Congress take this action today to help sustain this economic recovery. While there is still work to be done, recognizing the importance of low rates for dividends and parity with capital gains is significant, and we look forward to addressing the important issues left on the table in 2013.”

Jibson continued, “Keeping dividends low will help utilities expand and rebuild their infrastructure, in turn, helping to meet the nation’s energy needs and deliver on the promises of clean, affordable and domestic natural gas for our economy, environment and national security.”

Lower dividend tax rates benefit the tens of millions of Americans who own stocks indirectly through mutual funds, and they support the value of stocks held through or in life insurance policies, employer or union pension funds, 401(k) plans, or individual retirement accounts. Lower dividend tax rates also benefit Americans who own no stocks or mutual funds by helping to spur the growth that is needed to create new jobs and to strengthen the economy. Parity between dividends and capital gains creates a level playing field and allows investors to make decisions rather than creating a tax code driven bias for one over the other.

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