Category Archives: energy

Lisa Dundon AGA Members Work To Improve Their Communities on Earth Day

Natural gas utilities safely and reliably deliver energy to more than 177 million Americans and are true partners in the communities they serve. Many utilities have served their customers for more than 100 years. It is important for the American Gas Association (AGA) and our more than 200 utility members to give back to these communities, especially on Earth Day.

Earlier this month, a group of AGA and Washington Gas staff volunteers participated in the 26th Annual Anacostia River Clean-Up as part of an Earth Day service project put on by the Alice Ferguson Foundation (AFF). During the event, which took place in 209 sites along the Anacostia Watershed in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, volunteers removed trash, tires and plastic bags. AGA and Washington Gas volunteers primarily focused on picking up trash in and around Four Mile Run in Shirlington, Va. According to the AFF, more than 6,000 volunteers collected 131.5 tons of trash, including 537 tires, 19,500 plastic bags and 100,600 beverage containers.

Earth Day Washington Gas 300x200 AGA Members Work To Improve Their Communities on Earth Day

Photo Courtesy: Washington Gas

To commemorate Earth Day, AGA member Entergy Mississippi gave a $7,500 grant to the Jackson Zoo’s Wild Learning Project, which brings Jackson Public School students to the zoo for free educational field trips. Entergy also invited their Facebook fans to post their favorite nature photographs for a chance at winning a $100 donation to an eligible nonprofit of choice.

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Photo Courtesy: Entergy Mississippi’s Twitter page

Employees of Baltimore Gas & Electric teamed up with Blue Water Baltimore to help plant trees in Cherry Hill Park on Earth Day. The trees will contribute to the growth of the tree canopy and help to work to make the watershed cleaner and healthier. Enbridge Gas is once again participating in Trees Across Toronto to help rebuild the urban forest’s tree canopy near the utility’s offices.

Earth Day BGE 300x195 AGA Members Work To Improve Their Communities on Earth Day

Photo Courtesy: BG&E’s Facebook page

AGA member Consumers Energy celebrates Earth Day all year long focusing on a series of sustainability efforts. Since 1992, Consumers Energy has recycled 16,266 gallons of paint, 267,000 gallons of fuel, 190,948 pounds of electronics, 134,000 yards of paper, 65,000 yards of corrugated cardboard and 608,694 batteries.

Earth Day Consumers Energy 200x300 AGA Members Work To Improve Their Communities on Earth Day

Infographic Courtesy: Consumers Energy

These are just a few highlights of the efforts underway in AGA’s members’ communities. Let us know in the comments section below what you’ve been doing to celebrate Earth Day this year. We’d love to highlight your efforts on AGA’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Lisa Dundon LIHEAP Advocates Make Push For Greater Funding on Capitol Hill

More than 150 advocates from around the country descended upon Capitol Hill Wednesday in support of responsible funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) sponsored LIHEAP Action Day 2014 along with member companies of the American Gas Association (AGA) and the Edison Electric Institute. The day-long event is aimed at building awareness for LIHEAP. The federal block grant program provides financial assistance to low and fixed-income individuals for fuel and utility bills, as well as low-cost weatherization and energy-related home repairs.

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Representatives from Entergy meet with Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17) to discuss LIHEAP funding. Photo Credit: Entergy

Dozens of LIHEAP advocates met with members of Congress and their staff, and took to social media advocating for $4.7 billion in LIHEAP funding for FY2015. You can share your thoughts about the importance of LIHEAP by using the hashtag #LIHEAPAction.

After many years of underfunding LIHEAP, Congress funded the program at $5.1 billion in FY2009 and FY2010. Since then, funding has been cut drastically from $4.7 billion in FY2011 to less than $3.4 billion for the current fiscal year. President Barack Obama’s 2015 budget request is for $2.8 billion. These funding cuts have resulted in smaller assistance grants and fewer households served, severely limiting the program’s effectiveness.

This winter’s record breaking cold temperatures have been a stark reminder of why the LIHEAP program is so critical. Here are just a few other reasons:

  • According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, more than 46 million people live in poverty – the largest number in the 52-year history of published poverty estimates.
  • Even with LIHEAP funding at $5.1 billion, the amount was only enough to assist 1 in 5 eligible Americans.
  • The average low- and fixed-income family spends 13.5 percent of its annual household income on energy – almost twice the 7.2 percent spent by the average U.S. household.
  •  LIHEAP supports veterans and seniors. The number of veteran households served by LIHEAP increased by more than 150 percent over three years. Roughly 40 percent of LIHEAP recipients are seniors.
  • Roughly 75 percent of households receiving assistance earn less than $15,000 a year and 50 percent earn less than $10,000 a year.
  • Almost all recipient households support someone who is disabled, elderly, or have a child under six.
  • Home energy insecurity can lead to diminished child health, home fires and deaths, choices of “heat or eat” and homelessness.
John Rich Sen. Murkowski holding award 2 300x253 LIHEAP Advocates Make Push For Greater Funding on Capitol Hill


NEUAC’s John Rich presents U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski with the Extra Mile award. Photo Credit: NEUAC

LIHEAP Action Day concluded with a Congressional reception and the presentation of the NEUAC Extra Mile award given to U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), recognizing for her longtime support of the program.

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Chris McGill Natural Gas Market Indicators: March 14, 2014

While it may not feel like it, the winter heating season is technically approaching its close.

Even with short-term local daily cash price peaks, natural gas futures have remained remarkably stable, generally in the $4.25 to $4.75 per MMBtu range going as far out as 2017. This reflects confidence in the ability of domestic production to meet weather-induced and growing institutional demand for natural gas in the industrial, power generation and weather sensitive small volume customer sectors.

These observations continue to support the takeaway from the Natural Gas Market Indicators publication two weeks ago which stated that the nation’s natural gas supply portfolio has handled persistent cold and major weather events very well this winter heating season.

Visit this link to download the full Natural Gas Market Indicators report. Topics covered in this week’s report include: Reported Prices, Weather, Working Gas in Underground Storage, Natural Gas Production, Shale Gas, Rig Counts, Pipeline Imports and Exports, and LNG Markets.

Please direct questions and comments to Chris McGill at cmcgill@aga.org or Richard Meyer at rmeyer@aga.org.

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Chris McGill Natural Gas Market Indicators: February 28, 2014

Natural gas March futures closed at $6.09 per MMBtu on February 19 and went even higher afterwards before falling once again. This could seem like a dramatic rise and psychological threshold for natural gas prices, but there are some important facts to keep in mind for context. First, it has been a very cold winter with persistent low temperatures. Records for highest month, week and day for total natural gas consumption were in January.

This January also saw the highest winter-month electricity load, ever. For its part, natural gas volumes to power generation for a January were the highest ever recorded, also. February natural gas demand is 8.6 percent above last year while storage volumes are 35 percent below the five-year average. With that said, winter price movements have been muted compared to history when similar piled-on events have occurred. What then is our takeaway? That the nation’s natural gas supply portfolio, so far, has handled persistent cold and major weather events very well.

Visit this link to download the full Natural Gas Market Indicators report. Topics covered in this week’s report include: Reported Prices, Weather, Working Gas in Underground Storage, Natural Gas Production, Shale Gas, Rig Counts, Pipeline Imports and Exports, and LNG Markets.

Please direct questions and comments to Chris McGill at cmcgill@aga.org or Richard Meyer at rmeyer@aga.org.

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