Tracy Burleson Good Works

In 1996, Jeff Angeletti and a team of his colleagues at East Ohio Gas answered the call from a local housing rehabilitation nonprofit by making repairs to the home of an elderly woman. This was one of the first projects of the nonprofit now known as Rebuilding Together and more than 18 years after that first project, Angeletti serves as board president of the group. This is only one example demonstrating the long history and commitment utilities and their employees have to their communities.

domion east ohio volunteers Good Works

Dominion East Ohio employees Ty McBee and Katie Dula joined other employee volunteers in packing meals at the Cleveland Foodbank.

The cover story for the July issue of American Gas magazine, titled “Good Works,” highlights Dominion Resources and Sempra Energy for their dedication and success in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Both companies are listed among North American’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens” by Corporate Responsibility magazine.

As an industry, utilities have set the bar high for CSR and continue their growing commitment to improve these programs. American Gas talked with top CSR practitioners to provide key steps to improve upon CSR and examples from other industries.

CSR plan1 Good WorksTo read the article, click here. To see more from the July issue of the magazine, click here.

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Tracy Burleson New Home Sales Surge to a Six Year High

After a sluggish spring for new home sales, there was a much welcome surge in May. Sales of new single family homes increased 18.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000 units in May according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is the highest rate in six years and was felt across the board in all four regions of the country.

US Census Bureau New Home Sales Surge to a Six Year HighAs new home sales increased, so did builder confidence. The most recent report from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index reported a four point rise to a level of 49. While this is still one point shy of the threshold for what is considered good building conditions, it too, is a welcome sign.

While the housing market continues to show positive signs, the National Association of Home Builders’ and suppliers to the industry are making plans for the 2015 International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas from January 20 – 22. IBS provides an opportunity for builders to see and learn about the latest technologies for the housing industry. The American Gas Association will be there to welcome the more than 90,000 design and construction professionals to IBS. For more than 60 years, AGA has exhibited new and energy efficient technologies at IBS. For more information about IBS, please email tburleson@aga.org.

AGA Custom 50x50 2013 IBS Show New Home Sales Surge to a Six Year High

AGA’s booth at the International Builders’ Show in 2014.

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Lisa Dundon National Safety Month: AGA Reminds Public About Natural Gas Safety Methods

Each June, the National Safety Council (NSC) celebrates National Safety Month (NSM), an initiative to bring attention to the importance of safety and the prevalence of accidental injury. According to the NSC, accidental injuries lead to the deaths of about 120,000 people each year. In addition, 67 percent of deaths related to injuries are attributed to unintentional causes.

According to the NSC, this year’s theme, “Safety: It Takes All of Us,” was inspired by the idea of continuous risk reduction – a key pillar in the journey to safety excellence.  Each week during the month of June has focused on a specific safety theme. Week one centered on prescription drug abuse; week two highlighted the prevention of slips, trips and falls; week three spotlighted personal safety and awareness of one’s surroundings; and week four emphasized putting an end to distracted driving. Next week is considered a “bonus week” and will feature summer safety.

Safety is the top priority for the American Gas Association (AGA) and our more than 200 utility members across the country. AGA’s members continuously work to keep their communities safe and to help ensure our distribution and transmission system continues to be the safest and most reliable method of delivering energy in the nation. While the natural gas industry has multiple safeguards in place to protect their customers, AGA would like to take this opportunity during NSM to remind customers to actively participate through these methods:

  • Maintain gas appliances and fuel lines.
  • Call 811 before embarking on any excavation project – big or small.
  • Report the smell of natural gas immediately to your natural gas utility. Utilities odorize natural gas with Mercaptan, which smells similar to rotten eggs.
  • Be attentive to safety communications provided by your utility.

Many of these natural gas safety methods are highlighted in a video AGA released earlier this year to help educate the youth. The animated video, aimed at elementary and middle school aged children, explains which appliances use natural gas, how to identify a natural gas leak and what to do if a leak occurs. These key safety messages are not only critical to family and caregivers, but the next generation of utility customers. We encourage your company to share this video internally and on your social media platforms.

The NSC has asked the public to join the conversation about safety online by using the hashtags #NSM14 and #SafetyMonth on Twitter, and several AGA members and partners have been participating. Pacific Gas & Electric and the Exelon Corporation have been posting daily safety tips on their Twitter pages, along with Dig Safely New York.

PGE National Safety Month: AGA Reminds Public About Natural Gas Safety Methods

If your company has done something to promote NSM, let us know in the comments section below. AGA will feature member companies on our social media pages, as well as future blog posts.

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Chris McGill Natural Gas Market Indicators: June 27, 2014

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reminded us this month that the world’s first purpose-built, ocean-going LNG carrier, the Methane Princess, was placed into service 50 years ago in June 1964. That ship, and her sister vessel, the Methane Progress, traveled primarily between Algeria and the UK. Today, there are 357 such ships generally averaging five times the capacity of the original transporter.

Domestic production remains strong and growing, and storage injections’ aggressive poise has coincided with a slight softening of prices. Following one of the coldest winters in decades and the strongest demand pull ever, the physical market appears to be adjusting accordingly.

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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