Jan
4

10 Accomplishments from Gas South’s 10th Year

In 2016, Gas South celebrated its 10th year of business, and it proved a pivotal one for the company.

We’re committed to cultivating a top workplace environment, providing exceptional customer service and supporting our local community. Here are 10 accomplishments from our 10th year that reaffirm our commitment to our culture, customers and the community:

Culture

  1. We earned a coveted spot on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s 2016 Top Workplaces for the first time. More than 2,500 companies and organizations applied and ultimately 165 were recognized, including Gas South. The rankings were based entirely on responses from an anonymous employee survey.
  2. We introduced a $15 minimum wage for all employees – more than double the federal rate and nearly triple Georgia’s minimum wage. The change resulted in pay increases for approximately 25 percent of the company’s workforce and most significantly impacted employees in Gas South’s customer care department.
  3. We celebrated our accomplishments with a 10-day event commemorating Gas South’s 10-year anniversary. The event series, “10 Days of Gas South,” included a daily theme to recognize and reward employees for their hard work and dedication. This campaign was recognized with a 2016 Phoenix Award from the Georgia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Customers

  1. We made major strides with our customer care transformation – moving from a transactional mindset to a focus on building amazing long-term customer relationships. This included an internal reorganization that moved all customer calls out of the sales organization and into the customer care organization to improve our commitment to providing the best customer service.
  2. We improved our customer communications to be more proactive, informative and actionable. Our locally-based customer care team continues to assist customers by phone as well as increasingly through social media channels.
  3. We continued to expand our increasingly popular Pick Your Perk program. We added new Pick Your Perk options, and we are increasingly communicating this program through multiple channels. We even expanded our great discounts for local attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, Stone Mountain Park and the Atlanta Ballet with more promo codes and deals for our valued customers.

Community

  1. We sponsored the fifth annual Charity Cornhole Challenge at SweetWater 420 Fest, awarding the $10,000 grand prize to the Atlanta Community Food Bank, one of the largest hunger relief organizations in the Southeast, as the tournament winner.
  2. We partnered with Cobb EMC to provide a Home Energy Efficiency Makeover worth approximately $20k. The makeover winners, Wes and Shannon Pilgrim, received new energy-efficient appliances, a bill credit from Cobb EMC, two years of free natural gas service from Gas South, and a new HVAC unit, water heater, insulation and duct work from Cobb Heating and Air Association members.
  3. For the sixth year, Gas South’s Bring the Heat™ campaign raised money for local nonprofits. This year, Braves pitchers threw a total of 1,227 strikeouts, resulting in $61,350 raised for The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta.
  4. We participated in Hands On Atlanta Day where 50 Gas South employees volunteered a total of 200 hours at Camp Timber Ridge in partnership with the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. We helped spruce up the campground – chopping wood, clearing roadways, putting up new tents and painting pavilions.

As we reflect on our accomplishments in 2016, we’re excited for our 11th year and everything that is to come in 2017!

Dec
22

Spreading Warmth and Holiday Cheer with The Salvation Army

A little warmth and kindness goes a long way, especially during the holiday season. That’s why Gas South employees were encouraged to play Santa by partnering with The Salvation Army for its annual Angel Tree program. Last year, employees generously donated gifts and toys to 50 Angels and this year, we’re spreading our wings once again. From apparel to toys, the goal is to make a difference in the lives of parents who are unable to provide gifts for their children and to instill hope in children who wish to “believe.”

Created in 1979, the Angel Tree program is the tree-topper to The Salvation Army’s many initiatives that help families in need during the holidays. Through donations, The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta will spread cheer to more than 12,000 local boys and girls on Christmas morning.

There’s a lot that goes on “behind-the-wings” of this generous program: The Salvation Army identifies families in need of support during the holiday season and obtains a wish list for the children, or senior citizens. The nonprofit enlists the help of individuals and companies, like Gas South, to serve as its elves and fulfill the wishes. And then, The Salvation Army ensures that all participating families receive their gifts just in time for the holidays.

At Gas South, giving back to the communities we serve is the cornerstone of our mission to create a culture of caring. That’s why our employees donated 25 Angels and 25 stockings filled with gifts this year. From our Gas South family to yours, happy holidays!

Nov
28

5 Reasons Why You Should Cook with Natural Gas

Cooler weather means football, friends, family – and food. This fall and winter, channel your inner chef by using natural gas to prepare your holiday feasts. From ovens and ranges to grills, here are five reasons why you should cook with natural gas.

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Less Time in the Kitchen
Imagine it’s the third down in the fourth quarter, and your favorite team is just a few points away from taking the lead – but where are you? Hopefully, not in the kitchen! Thankfully, ranges and ovens powered with natural gas heat up instantly, while electric stoves do not. The roast will be out of the oven in plenty of time for you to catch the winning touchdown.

More Precision and Control
Natural gas offers more precision and control, which even amateur chefs can appreciate. Plus, when cooking with natural gas, you can keep your food on the range with the flame off without the worry of overcooking. It’s an easy way to keep your signature dish warm as you and your family go back for seconds.

Keeps on Cooking
What if the power goes out? Keep calm and cook on! There’s no need to order a pizza. If you have a natural gas powered oven, the food keeps on cooking. Your loved ones will still get to enjoy your larger-than-life turkey roasting in the oven. You don’t get that with an electric oven!

Less Preparation
Typically, a charcoal grill requires multiple steps – like lugging a bag of charcoal to the grill, lighting the charcoal, waiting for the flames to settle – and the list goes on. But this isn’t the case with a natural gas grill. You can heat up the grill with a simple flip of a switch.

More Money in Your Pocket
Who doesn’t want to save some extra money during the holidays? If you’re looking to purchase a new oven, consider purchasing one powered by natural gas. Natural gas ovens are typically less expensive than electric ones as an upfront purchase, and using natural gas will also save you money in the long run.

Want to know more about the benefits of cooking with natural gas from a professional chef? Check out this CBS46 Atlanta Plugged In segment with Gas South customer and head chef Andre Gomez of Porch Light Latin Kitchen in Smyrna as he shows us how to fire things up in the kitchen with natural gas!

Nov
10

Celebrating Veterans at Gas South

Nearly a century ago, Veteran’s Day was established to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served our country. As Veteran’s Day celebrations take place across metro Atlanta, we took the opportunity to speak with two employees – Ida Susan Graham and Judge Montgomery – about their service and what Gas South is doing for veterans.

How is Gas South committed to honoring our veterans?

Judge Montgomery: We offer special deals and discounts for those who served and still serve our country. As a special “thank you” to the men and women in our armed forces, Gas South provides a 2-cent per therm discount on both variable and fixed rate plans for veterans and active military personnel. And we won’t charge you a deposit to setup your service.

Ida Susan Graham: We encourage vets and active duty personnel to take advantage of the discount, particularly with colder weather around the corner. Especially since it has been predicted that there will be an increase in natural gas bills due to colder weather headed our way this winter.

Other than the everyday deals and discounts, how else does Gas South pay it forward to veterans?

Judge: Gas South is committed to making a difference in the community year-round. This year Gas South gifted a Marine and his wife an energy efficient makeover in partnership with Cobb EMC and the Cobb Heating and Air Association. The total value was an impressive $20 thousand, and they received two years of free natural gas from Gas South!

Ida Susan: Wes and Shannon Pilgrim of Marietta, Georgia, were nominated by their neighbors. Wes is known in his neighborhood as the type who would do anything to help – and it was great to be able to help him in return.

As a Gas South employee, what is the company doing to salute veterans?

Ida Susan: I feel blessed to work for a company that truly takes care of their employees. This year Gas South veteran employees have been given Veterans Day off, so we can spend time with our families. It’s a great way for Gas South to take that extra step to show they care.

Judge: Kevin Greiner, president and CEO, also personally thanked each one of us and presented us with a gift to show his appreciation of our service.

As veterans, how was the transition to Gas South?

Judge: The military gave me a higher sense of discipline and accountability. After serving nine years in the military, I’ve learned to adapt to my surroundings – and I’ve learned to apply the same discipline and accountability to my position at Gas South.

Ida Susan: I served more than 20 years in the U.S. Army and USAR. My military time has been my life, and without it, my life would have not blossomed into my three flowers – my children. I served in many places and learned so much. It’s truly helped me to be the leader I am today.

Nov
8

#Winning at the 2016 PRSA Georgia Awards Celebration

This past Thursday, the Georgia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) awarded Gas South with a Phoenix Award at the 2016 Awards Celebration. These awards bring an entirely new meaning to the “blue plate special.” See what I mean?

Only 75 Phoenix Awards were presented out of more than 200 entries, and we were honored to take home a Phoenix for our 10-day event commemorating Gas South’s 10-year anniversary.

The event series, titled “10 Days of Gas South,” celebrated our achievements across Gas South’s first 10 years in business, recognized and rewarded employees, and built excitement for what’s to come in the next decade.

Each day featured a different theme. My personal favorite was probably day five’s theme –“Aren’t you glad you work at Gas South?” Employees wore their new Gas South anniversary polos and snapped selfies. The excitement about the next day’s anniversary party was palpable, and it was great to see everyone interacting and having a great time while sporting their new attire!

During the 10-day event, we engaged all of Gas South’s employees through at least one activation. The Marietta Daily Journal, Business RadioX and Metro Atlanta CEO covered our anniversary celebration with a combined reach of 150,000 impressions. On our social media channels, our anniversary-focused content helped to increase month-over-month engagement by 167 percent on Twitter and 810 percent on Facebook.

Gas South’s 10th year has been a momentous one, and receiving the PRSA Georgia Phoenix Award for our anniversary celebration is just another example of the #1 workplace environment we’re cultivating every day. #Winning

Nov
2

Writing the Chapter on Literacy for Atlanta’s Students

Gas South and Cobb EMC sponsored the seventh annual Literacy Week, beginning October 24th. The week-long celebration brought the stories printed in children’s favorite books to life. During Literacy Week, 13 children’s book authors read to 24,483 students in 43 schools across metro Atlanta.

Local author Chris Rumble read his book Adventures of Uncle Stinky, a series of highly-illustrated stories about an unlikely superhero, to Gas South’s partner school Norton Park Elementary.  Celebrated children’s book author and poet, Robyn Hood Black, read to our other partner school Heritage Academy. Even the Braves’ mascot, Homer, showed up to celebrate Literacy Week!

In 2014, 14 percent of the population was illiterate according to the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy. Gas South is proud to partner with Cobb EMC to support local schools and to help foster a love for reading in children.

Oct
31

Tips to Avoid Five Natural Gas Nightmares

Halloween is here, the weather is getting chilly, and things are about to get a little spooky. But, have no fear – we have a few tips (no tricks!) up our sleeves to help you avoid five natural gas “nightmares!”

Nightmare #1
Unexpectedly high bills can be frightening – especially when you’re not used to having your heat turned on for the past few months – but there are ways you can save on your home energy costs.

One thing you can do is invest in a programmable thermostat. During the winter months, we recommend setting your thermostat to 60 degrees when you’re away and 68 degrees when you’re home. You can save about 5 percent on heating costs for every degree lowered in the winter months. And of course, you can do this manually if you don’t have a smart thermostat.

Nightmare #2
Remember to change the filter in your furnace or air handler regularly. A dirty air filter can cause a lot of hocus pocus – forcing your system to work harder to push air throughout your home. This results in increased energy usage, which also means a higher bill. Not to mention the added creepy crawlies like dust and allergens that can’t be properly filtered out. To avoid this potential nightmare, most HVAC companies recommend inspecting, cleaning or replacing the filter every month during the summer and winter seasons. 

Nightmare #3
Don’t let carbon monoxide creep up on you. There are easy ways to maintain your household, so you can breathe easy. Think of carbon monoxide as a ghost – you can’t see it even if it’s there. It’s a tasteless, odorless substance produced from the combustion of carbon-based substances. It can be emitted from fireplaces, faulty furnaces, generators, water heaters and other heat sources. If inhaled, carbon monoxide can be very dangerous.

Everyone should have a carbon monoxide detector in their home that will alert you when carbon monoxide levels are elevated. It’s also a good rule of thumb to never use grills, generators or camping stoves inside the home, and never leave a car running in the garage without opening the garage door. Car exhaust is one of the substances most commonly associated with carbon monoxide poisoning. Lastly, never ever try to heat your home using your stove.

Nightmare #4
A natural gas leak is the scariest of all nightmares, but there are simple ways to identify a potential leak. Because natural gas is a colorless, odorless fuel, we add a chemical odorant called mercaptan that gives natural gas the smell that’s often associated with rotten eggs. This distinctive scent allows you to detect a potential leak if it occurs. So keep a nose out for that!
When you’re inside your home, you can also listen for an eerie blowing or hissing sound. A sign of a leak outdoors may be indicated by dead or discolored vegetation in an otherwise green area as well as dirt or dust blowing from a hole in the ground, or bubbling in wet or flooded areas.

If you detect a natural gas leak, remain calm and leave your home immediately. There’s no secret potion to fix a gas leak, but you can call Atlanta Gas Light at 877.427.4321 and emergency responders at 911 once you are in a safe place – away from the area of the suspected leak. Stay put until emergency personnel say it’s safe to return.

Nightmare #5
Besides asking ‘Trick-or-Treat?you should ask –Have I turned on my natural gas yet?” For seasonal natural gas customers, it’s important to sign up early so you have heat as soon as temperatures begin to drop. A lot of folks wait until it gets cold to schedule their service, but sooner is always better since it takes a few days to schedule Atlanta Gas Light to come to your house, make sure the gas line is safe and turn on your gas.

Oct
21

Leading with Love and Support

 

 

Yesterday, I was recognized by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the 2016 Women Who Mean Business. Each year, this distinction honors women leading, inspiring and shaping Atlanta.

When I found out I was among the 20 honorees, I was shocked, honored but mostly just humbled. I’m grateful to have my efforts in the office, the natural gas industry and our local community at large acknowledged in such a heartening way. I try to base everything I do on helping whoever I can, whenever I can, in whatever way I can and to the very best of my ability. This is what drives me forward every day.

“Always speak to people with kindness and respect because it may be the only positive interaction they have that day.” Those words of advice, spoken to me by a close friend, have remained with me throughout my career as one of the best lessons I’ve learned. I believe every person with whom I come in contact can say that’s true of me.

Decades later, my advice to others, particularly women climbing the corporate ladder, is to always reach back and reach out. I believe we ascend the ladder of success, rung by rung, with the support of others. I try to uplift others by spreading positivity and enthusiasm, offering career advice and volunteering my skills. We should all be helping and supporting others at every moment possible.

Doing the right thing is sometimes a simple act, yet the results can be powerful. I want to give the sincerest thanks to the Atlanta Business Chronicle for this award and to my friends, family, mentors and colleagues for their continuous love and support.

Oct
7

Hands on Atlanta Day 2016

We spoke to Brenda Turner, residential channel coordinator, to learn more about Hands on Atlanta Day and what it means to her to volunteer in the communities where we live, work and play.

By: Brenda Turner

One of my favorite things about being a Gas South employee is the company’s dedication to giving back to the community. We participate in many local service programs year-round, and most recently, I had the opportunity to lead Hands On Day Atlanta Day 2016 – the largest and most prestigious corporate volunteer day of service in Atlanta.

Approximately 50 Gas South employees volunteered a total of 200 hours at Camp Timber Ridge in partnership with the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. We helped spruce up the campground – chopping wood, clearing roadways, putting up new tents and painting pavilions.

Though it may be what they’re best known for, the Girl Scouts do a lot more than sell delicious cookies – just like Gas South does more than market natural gas! But don’t take my word for it. Check out this short video about our experience volunteering with the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta for Hands on Atlanta Day.

Oct
4

Gas South ‘Brings the Heat’ to Final Season at Turner Field

The final season at Turner Field was one to remember for the Atlanta Braves, The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta.

For the sixth year, Gas South’s Bring the Heat™ campaign raised money for local nonprofits. Each time a Braves pitcher struck out an opponent, Gas South committed to donating $50.

This year, we knocked the donations out the park! Braves pitchers threw a total of 1,227 strikeouts, resulting in $61,350 raised for The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta.

With Gas South’s support, United Way of Greater Atlanta is able to help combat homelessness and hunger in greater Atlanta, as well as provide care for expecting mothers. The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta will use the funds to continue to provide meals, shelter and energy assistance to hundreds of thousands of residents in need.

President and CEO Kevin Greiner presented the donation checks to Dennis Long of United Way and Atlanta Area Commander Major Todd Hawks of The Salvation Army at the Atlanta Braves game on September 13. Greiner and Hawks also participated in the Turner Field Countdown.

During the Braves’ final farewell at Turner Field this past Sunday, a sold-out crowd watched the team defeat the Detroit Tigers and then it was time to say their goodbyes. In April 2017, we’ll say hello to SunTrust Park as the official natural gas provider for the Atlanta Braves, and we’re looking forward to another successful season!

Through our partnership with the Atlanta Braves, Gas South has been bringing the heat and spreading the warmth across Atlanta. Since Bring the Heat’s inception in 2010, we’ve contributed nearly $350,000 to local nonprofits stepping up to the plate to serve our communities.