Category Archives: events

Tracy Burleson Join AGA at the 2015 International Builders’ Show

IBS15 email graphic v3 300x300 Join AGA at the 2015 International Builders ShowIn 2015, the International Builders’ Show (IBS) and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) will again co-locate at the Las Vegas Convention Center to create Design and Construction Week. The two events will remain separate and distinct shows held simultaneously, January 20 – 22, 2015. One badge will provide access to all the exhibits with an estimated 90,000 attendees.

As these build and design professionals enter the exhibition hall, the natural gas industry exhibit will be one of the first exhibits they see. This 2,500-square-foot exhibit will be the result of an important partnership between AGA members and manufacturers of gas appliances demonstrating the latest, most innovative technologies available to consumers.

In 2015, AGA will be the energy sponsor of The New American Home (TNAH). Since 1984, TNAH has served as the official show home of IBS. The home’s design, construction and amenities showcase the latest in innovative products for the future of home building. TNAH will feature 18 natural gas appliances in 2015.

The construction market continues to show signs of recovery and IBS exhibitor space sales has outpaced last year with more than 400,000-square-feet sold. If you are interested in supporting the natural gas industry efforts at IBS as a volunteer or manufacturer, please contact Tracy Burleson at tburleson@aga.org.

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Christina Nyquist Natural Gas in a Brighter, More Efficient Tomorrow: Natural Gas Utilities Support National Building Safety Month

With its domestic abundance, efficiency and low emissions profile, natural gas has an important role in supporting safe and sustainable homes and businesses throughout the nation. Day in and day out, more than 177 million Americans rely on natural gas for heating, cooling, hot water, cooking and more. AGA and its member companies are dedicated to continually enhancing the safe, reliable delivery of natural gas to America’s buildings, as well as to helping customers understand how to maximize their energy usage, and that’s why AGA is proud to be next week’s (May 26-31) sponsor of the International Code Council’s Building Safety Month.

Building Safety Month 1 Natural Gas in a Brighter, More Efficient Tomorrow: Natural Gas Utilities Support National Building Safety MonthWith the theme “Building a Brighter, More Efficient Tomorrow,” AGA is sharing information on the extraordinary efficiency of natural gas, the benefits of using natural gas directly in home appliances, and tips on how customers can achieve even greater savings for their wallet and the planet. For instance, did you know:

  • When used directly, natural gas achieves 92 percent energy efficiency.
  • A household with natural gas vs. all-electric appliances produces 37 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions and results in 28 percent less energy consumption.
  • Natural gas appliances for home heating can help customers cut their energy bills in half.

While simply converting to natural gas can help consumers save on their monthly utility bills, natural gas utilities are committed to helping their customers save even more. Your local utility can suggest how to weatherize your home or business, how to reduce energy consumption, and may even offer rebates and discounts on energy efficient appliances and home or building efficiency improvements. In 2012, utilities invested $1.1 billion in natural gas efficiency programs that helped customers reduce their typical annual natural gas usage by an average 16 percent and save $117 in annual energy costs – in total saving 136 trillion Btu of energy and offsetting 7.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. You can find more information about energy efficiency and natural gas utilities here.

Building Safety Month 2 Natural Gas in a Brighter, More Efficient Tomorrow: Natural Gas Utilities Support National Building Safety MonthUtilities are focused on the safe and reliable delivery of this foundation fuel to millions of Americans every day, and safety is the top priority for AGA and its members. The industry continues to take action to further enhance the safety and reliability of its systems. The industry has multiple safeguards in place to protect their customers, and they work to spread public awareness messages so that customers can actively participate in the safety of their homes, businesses and communities. Here’s how you can help ensure your safety around natural gas:

  • Properly maintain gas appliances and fuel lines.
  • Call 811 before embarking on any excavation or digging project – even planting.
  • Report the smell of natural gas to your local natural gas utility. Utilities odorize natural gas with Mercaptan – which smells similar to rotten eggs – to help customers detect leaks.
  • Be attentive to safety communications provided by your utility.
  • Help your kids understand natural gas safety with resources like AGA’s Kids Safety Video.

More information on Building Safety Month and Natural Gas:

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Lisa Dundon California Chrome Wins Kentucky Derby, Promotes “Call 811” to Millions

When overwhelming favorite California Chrome raced to victory at the 140th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, 15.3 million television viewers around the world were reminded of the importance to “Call 811 Before You Dig.“

Four members of the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), an organization dedicated to educating professionals and homeowners about the importance of following safe digging procedures, were the official sponsors of Victor Espinoza, the jockey who rode the winning colt.

Thanks in part to USA North 811, Underground Service Alert of Southern California, Dig Safely New York and Kentucky 811, Espinoza donned the bold “Call 811” logo and phone number on the side and back of his pants, as well as his turtleneck, riding boots and the ball cap he wore before and after the race. Espinoza also spread this important safety message on his official Twitter page leading up to the race.

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Jockey Victor Espinoza shows off his uniform featuring the Call 811 logo. Photo credit: CGA Connect Facebook page.

CGA President Bob Kipp explained that given the Kentucky Derby occurs during the peak spring digging season each year, it was the perfect opportunity to promote the importance of calling 811 to millions of homeowners and professional who dig.

A call to 811, which should be done a few days before beginning a big or small digging project, connects you to a local One Call Center which gathers information about the project and alerts your local utility company. Crews then locate the utility lines near the planned project and make sure they are properly marked so you can be sure to avoid them. The process is fast, simple and free.

People digging often make risky assumptions about whether or not they should get their utility lines marked due to concerns about project delays, costs and previous calls about other projects. These assumptions can be life-threatening. According to CGA, an underground utility line is damaged every six minutes nationwide, because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.

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The horse and jockey team of California Chrome and Victor Espinoza moments after winning the Kentucky Derby. Photo credit: USA North 811 and Alex Evers/ESW/CSM ©Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Cal Sport Media.

Espinoza will again represent Call 811  as he races California Chrome in the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness, on May 17. Let us know how you will be rooting for the horse and jockey team in the comments section below.

If you missed the Kentucky Derby race, click here to watch the video on YouTube. For more information about Call 811, visit www.call811.com.

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Christina Nyquist Energy Utilities Work to Serve the Modern Customer

From smart meters to mobile devices and social media, joined with transformations in energy production, revolutions in technology have created boundless new opportunities for utilities to interact with, understand and serve their customers even more reliably, safely and efficiently. As companies innovate and enhance the customer experience across all sectors, utilities are charged with meeting and surpassing customer expectations driven by leading brands. With this transformed landscape in mind, more than 400 natural gas and electric utility professionals gathered in San Francisco last week to help enhance the customer experience for energy users throughout the nation. The 2014 Customer Service Conference and Exposition, co-hosted by the American Gas Association and the Edison Electric Institute, featured two and a half days of presentations, 60 exhibitors, breakout sessions and workshops focused on how to better meet customer needs and expectations in a changing energy and technology world.

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Utility customer service professionals gather for the AGA/EEI Customer Service Conference General Session.

Utilities and their employees are an integral link between our nation’s energy resources and homes and businesses throughout the nation, making a smooth energy customer experience a vital underpinning of a healthy economy. As part of their commitment to safe and reliable energy delivery, utilities are dedicated to helping ensure their customers are able to access the information and resources they need to better understand how to use energy wisely and safely, manage their energy costs, prepare for storms and outages and get the best possible value from their energy delivery service.

Thanks to constant innovations in information, communications and energy delivery technology, customers have more ways than ever to access information, manage their energy use and communicate with their local utility. Utilities also have access to an unprecedented amount of data and communications channels that can help them better understand and serve their customers’ needs. This new “data deluge” combined with today’s changing energy landscape provides opportunities and challenges for utilities, customer service professionals and customers. Conference participants heard from industry leaders and panels discussing these changes, what the future holds for utilities and how to meet and exceed customer expectations for decades to come.

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AGA Customer Service Committee Chair Kathy Kerr, New Jersey Natural Gas, moderates a panel discussing the Utility-Customer Business Model Evolution. L-R: Mike Hazelton, Georgia Power; Gregg Knight, CenterPoint Energy; Dave Williams, NW Natural

Afternoon breakout sessions followed the general sessions, where participants could fous on issues impacting their specific area of customer contact. These sessions examined addressing more effective meter reading and data collection processes, streamlining billing and payment processing, exploring innovative ways to assist low-income and at-risk customers, managing and modernizing call centers, and enhancing outage and restoration communications. Across the board, participants noted the potential for increased information and communication capabilities to transform the utility-customer relationship.

Meeting and exceeding their customers’ need for safe and reliable energy delivery has been the core mission of natural gas utilities for more than a century. America’s natural gas utilities will continue their historically excellent record of service as they leverage the opportunities of the future.

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