Category Archives: utility

Lisa Dundon PSEG to Award $160,000 in Grants to Further STEM Education in New Jersey

How would your non-profit educational organization like to receive thousands of dollars in grants this summer? The Public Service Electric and Gas (PSEG) Foundation is currently accepting applications from afterschool, summer and youth development programs to develop new or enhance existing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educational opportunities for students.

The PSEG Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AGA member company PSEG, will consider applications from their New Jersey service territory, as well as Salem and Cumberland counties, and the service and operation territories in Long Island and Albany, New York, as well as Bridgeport and New Haven, Connecticut.

Each proposal will be evaluated based on the following factors:

  • Focus on academic enrichment with already existing programming
  • Strong, relevant and inspiring STEM content with focus on hands-on, experiential learning
  • Emphasis on the application and mastery of problem solving, critical thinking and teamwork skills
  • Number of students served
  • A commitment to continuous improvement, with a focus on outcomes and evaluation
  • Demonstrated level of involvement with local schools and/or families
  • Capacity to implement and sustain new programming
  • Demonstrated program sustainability

The Foundation anticipates awarding funding to eight organizations, although the number of recipients and their award amount will be decided based on the strength of the proposals received at the discretion of Foundation staff. Applications must be completed and submitted by Friday, August 15 at 5 p.m. EST. All applicants will receive notification about funding decisions in late September 2014.

Applicants interested in applying can do so directly through PSEG’s online application by clicking here. Check back with the AGA blog later this fall for an update on all the winning organizations.

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Lisa Dundon AGA Members Named Most Trusted Natural Gas Utilities

AGA Members Named Most Trusted Natural Gas Utilities

Eight American Gas Association (AGA) member companies are among the utilities that received the highest rankings in Market Strategies’ 2014 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement study.

Picture21 300x300 AGA Members Named Most Trusted Natural Gas Utilities Nearly 19,000 residential utility customers served by the 125 largest natural gas, electric and combination utilities in the United States were surveyed to provide insight into the relationship consumers have with their utility providers, including operational satisfaction and product experience.

AGA is proud to congratulate the following utilities that topped the natural gas and combination companies in their region:

Each utility was scored on 28 separate measures in six areas: concern for customers, company reputation, credibility, dedication, environmental performance and community involvement. According to Market Strategies, the report showed that customers of utilities with strong brand trust tend to enroll in more programs and are far more prone to making positive comments on social media and elsewhere about their provider.

Click here for more information about the survey, as well as a full list of the top ranked utilities.

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Lisa Dundon Better Business Bureau Recognizes CenterPoint Energy’s Commitment to Ethical Behavior

AGA member CenterPoint Energy was awarded last month with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) International Torch Award for Ethics, presented by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, recognizing businesses exhibiting outstanding ethical practices.

Candidates for this inaugural award had to have previously won their local Torch Award for Ethics, which CenterPoint Energy did in October 2013 in the largest business category by the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. In 2012, CenterPoint Energy was also named to the BBB Centennial Honor Roll, which salutes century-old companies that have supported BBB for most or all of its history.

CenterPointEnergy Jean Krause Better Business Bureau Recognizes CenterPoint Energy’s Commitment to Ethical Behavior

CenterPoint Energy Community Relations Director Jean Krause accepts the BBB International Torch Award for Ethics.
Image courtesy of CenterPoint Energy.

According to the BBB, the international award judges were impressed with CenterPoint Energy’s commitment to employees and ethical behavior. Each of the utility’s employees are required to take at least one continuing education course related to ethics each year. The judges also said they appreciated CenterPoint Energy’s motto, “Operating ethically is simply what we do.”

“This award reflects our employees’ commitment to providing safe and reliable service to our customers and communities every day,” said Joe Vortherms, Vice President of CenterPoint Energy Gas Operations in Minnesota. “We’re proud to say that we’ve been doing it for more than 140 years.”

AGA congratulates CenterPoint Energy on this prestigious international recognition for ethical behavior, as well as their continued commitment to safety, integrity and reliability.

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Christina Nyquist Natural Gas Utilities Engage Communities to Promote 811, Safety Awareness

Today marks the last day of National Safe Digging Month. All April long, throughout the nation, local natural gas utilities have taken creative steps to spread the word about safe excavation practices. Damage from construction and digging activity is the leading cause of pipeline incidents, so communicating with customers and communities about the importance of calling 811 before starting any digging project is essential to enhancing public safety. Efforts surrounding safe digging have contributed to a nearly 50 percent decline in excavation damages to underground facilities since 2004. Here are just a few of the ways AGA member companies raised awareness about safe digging in their local communities.

North Carolina-based Piedmont Natural Gas teamed with garden centers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee to tag trees and shrubs with reminders to “Call Before You Dig.” Piedmont Natural Gas Managing Director of Safety and Community Relations Timothy Greenhouse explained, “We know people are eager to get started on gardening and landscaping projects after the long winter we’ve had, but calling 811 is a free, easy way to avoid the inconvenience, added cost and potential injury that can result from damaging underground utilities.” At the Gardens of Blackhawk Hardware in Charlotte, N.C., Girl Scouts from the local Hornets Nest Council worked with garden center employees to make sure every customer buying a tree, shrub or bush or digging tool received a “Call Before You Dig” tag.

PNG 2 300x199 Natural Gas Utilities Engage Communities to Promote 811, Safety Awareness

Piedmont Natural Gas employees demonstrate safe digging practices with local Girl Scouts at National Safe Digging Month awareness event. Credit: Piedmont Natural Gas

Atmos Energy, headquartered in Dallas, Tex., engaged social media to launch its “iDig It” campaign. The utility offered participants the chance to win $811 by snapping and submitting photos of clearly marked digging sites in their communities and sharing them on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #iDigIt. Atmos also released a new 811 awareness video at the end of March.

In Fresno, Calif., Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation joined the Fresno City Council, the Fresno Fire Department and the Mayor of Madera for a safe digging awareness rally, where participants wrapped 100 stickers around trees that were given away to anyone who pledged to call 811 before digging. In addition to spreading safety awareness, the event added 100 new trees to the city’s landscape. PG&E also hosted weekly safety events at Home Depot stores throughout its service territory throughout the month, where PG&E employees spoke with shoppers about the importance of safe digging. Attendees and their children also played safety games and observed some of the innovative tools PG&E is using to supply customers with safe and reliable gas and electricity.

598x270 811 home depot 4 Natural Gas Utilities Engage Communities to Promote 811, Safety Awareness

PG&E’s Dan Kalendar, left, and Joe Sutton demonstrated the interactive gas safety board for customers at a Home Depot Safe Digging Awareness event. Credit: PG&E

The team here at AGA developed and released a “Kids and Natural Gas Safety” video designed to appeal to younger audiences to help educate them about all aspects of living with natural gas.

Many other natural gas utilities throughout the nation spread awareness about National Safe Digging Month through news releases, social media, advertisements, community events and more. Safety is the top priority for AGA and its member companies. Along with the industry’s dedicated efforts to enhance the safety of its systems, growing public awareness about natural gas safety is an essential part of helping to ensure Americans can enjoy the benefits of domestic, abundant natural gas for decades to come.

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