Feb
16

Natural Gas 101: 5 Reasons You Should Invest in a Smart Thermostat

Today, it seems like every type of technology is going “smart” – from smartphones and smartwatches, to smart cars and smart thermostats. As smart thermostats such as The Nest grow in popularity, the reason why is no surprise: the energy-saving and cost-saving benefits are undeniable.

Curious for more? Here are five reasons why making the switch to a smart thermostat is the way to go.

 

  1. It can save you some cash. Only a few months after installation, a smart thermostat has the potential to save you a decent chunk of change. Three studies of Nest Learning Thermostat found that a smart thermostat can save you about 10 to 12 percent in heating costs and 15 percent in cooling costs in homes with central air conditioning. That can add up to ­­more than $140 a year!  You can put those extra savings into a sweet vaycay to the beach during those cold, winter months —and then save even more by setting your smart thermostat to vacation mode.
  1. It learns on its own. What’s beautiful about this innovative product is that if you really wanted to, you could go without ever having to actually touch it. The device is considered a learning thermostat, meaning it can sense even the smallest change in temperature and adjust accordingly. So whether your oven is pushing extra heat into the room or the outdoor temperature unexpectedly dropped 10 degrees, your home temperature will automatically stay right where you want it.

Additionally, some thermostats come with a built-in occupancy sensor. After a week or so of manual adjustments, the system will begin to recognize your presence and adjust on its own. A smart thermostat will correct your home to the right temperature before you even realize the change.

  1. You can control it on-the-go. Most smart thermostats come paired with iPhone and Android apps that give you the power to control your heating and cooling system anywhere you are. If you opt-out for the learning thermostat and want to keep it basic, you can manually adjust the temperature of your home with a few swipes on your phone. With the unpredictability of the outdoor weather (especially in Georgia), this feature allows you to quickly snap into action so you can at least have temperature predictability in your own home.
  1. You get instant alerts. Another perk of smart thermostats is the ability to immediately receive updates through text, email or direct notifications. For example: If a cold front comes through and your thermostat adjusts to accommodate the drop in temperature, you can opt in to be alerted of this change, along with an explanation. If you feel that the adjustment was unwarranted, you have the option of immediately reversing the change. The thermostat will then learn your preference and take it into consideration when making future automatic adjustments.
  1. See how you save. Some smart thermostats offer you a monthly report outlining your energy usage. The easy-to-read tracking system offers you insights for why certain days spiked or how you can save even more next month. You can learn how your spending compares to other users and even be rewarded for using energy-efficient settings.

Making the switch to a smart thermostat is a smart move. During the winter months, it’s the perfect tool to cut down on natural gas usage and save some cash – even throughout those hot, humid Georgia summers!

Feb
9

Natural Gas 101: How to Read Your Natural Gas Bill

We’re taking it back to the basics! Your monthly natural gas bill from Gas South provides more information than you may realize.

Reading your bill shouldn’t be a hassle, so we’ve created a tell-all guide to clear up any confusion and help you understand your Gas South bill.

  1. Account Details: This section provides your account details at a glance. It lists whether you’re enrolled in a fixed or variable rate plan. If you’re enrolled in a fixed plan, your rate remains the same month after month while variable rate plans fluctuate, according to market conditions.

The section also includes a number for the DDDC factor. What’s the DDDC factor? It’s simple. The DDDC factor, or Dedicated Design Day Capacity, is a calculation done by Atlanta Gas Light Company (AGL) that indicates how much natural gas is reserved (or “dedicated”) to you based on demand on the coldest day of the year. AGL is the company that owns and operates the pipelines that deliver natural gas directly to your home or property.

  1. Monthly Summary: This graph is a snapshot of what you owe this month. It includes your Gas South account number, your payment due date and the total amount that is due.
  1. Explanation of Charges: Here, we itemize the charges, fees and taxes associated with this month’s bill. The gas charges indicate the total cost of gas used during the billing period. The customer service fee is Gas South’s cost of servicing your account, and the AGL Pass Through Charges are regulated charges on behalf of AGL.
  1. Calculations: On each bill, Gas South provides more detailed information on your current charges. The grid encompasses readings from your meter. We then take the readings and calculate it by the thermal factor to obtain the amount of gas that is used in therms. A therm is simply a unit of heat, similar to the watts on your electric bill. Next, we multiply the therms by your current rate plan (e.g. $0.51 per therm) to determine this month’s charges.

Understanding your natural gas bill can save you a lot of grief – and using natural gas efficiently can save you money! If you ever have any questions regarding your bill, please contact us at 1-877-472-4932 to speak with a Gas South customer care representative.

Jan
26

Get a Taste of the Town at Roswell Restaurant Week

Now through February 1st, we’re celebrating Roswell Restaurant Week! This year’s event features 26 local restaurants to wine and dine – 13 of which are Gas South customers. Each restaurant offers a delectable prix fixe menu, complete with several courses.

Below is a guide to Gas South’s restaurants customers that are participating in Roswell’s finest culinary celebration. Dine out and taste the difference of why cooking with natural gas is so great! And if you’re looking to make the switch to natural gas, learn more about how to become a Gas South customer and receive an Atlanta EATS gift card to use at some of Roswell’s go-to restaurants in our guide.

1920 Tavern features global-inspired cuisine with contemporary interpretations of market-driven and locally sourced ingredients.

Adele’s on Canton is one of Atlanta’s best Cajun dining experiences. Get a taste of New Orleans with dishes like flash fried Louisiana alligator bites, and shrimp and grits.

Brick House Pizza serves authentic New York style pizzas made with produce from local growers.

El Porton features some of the most delicious Mexican food in town.

Foundation Social Eatery draws inspiration from French and Italian influences with a touch of local, Southern ingredients.

Houck’s Grille features everyone’s favorite dishes from fried shrimp, to black and blue chips, to homemade soups and more.

Oak Street Café  is your go-to family-owned restaurant with a unique touch to some of the classics.

Osteria Mattone serves regional Italian cuisine with a heavy focus on Roman fare, combining the casual spirit of an osteria.

Peach & the Porkchop is known for its farm-to-table freshness, with dishes inspired by the southern and northern roots of its owners.

Salt Factory Pub’s creative menu features a variety of classic comfort foods with international influences, which pair perfectly with its selection of more than 50 draft and bottled brews.

Table & Main showcases a line of mouth-watering, Southern inspired dishes.

The Big Ketch features a selection of fresh, casual seafood prepared with a gourmet touch in a relaxing environment.

The Mill Kitchen & Bar features American comfort food with a contemporary take on the classics.

Jan
23

7 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Winter is here (for now)! As the temperatures dip, we’re faced with a little less sunshine and a lot more time indoors. But don’t let glee turn to gloom. Check out Gas South’s top tips to stay warm and beat the winter blues.

  1. Try a new recipe. Winter is a great time to test a new recipe, especially if you’re using a natural gas oven, range or grill. Whether you’re an executive chef or an amateur, natural gas appliances offer more precision to help you prepare an impeccable hot dish for chilly days. If you’re looking for a tasty recipe to pair with dinner, try out our customer 101 Steak’s recipe for roasted garlic and mascarpone cheese dip.
  1. Have a staycation. Cozy up with family and friends at home by watching movies, playing games or whatever else you enjoy together. Stay warm and save money with a few easy tricks! At Gas South, we recommend a fixed rate plan to help you save more money over time. Also, consider installing a programmable thermostat, sealing ducts, and checking for drafty doors and windows to keep a little more money in your pocket during the cooler months.
  1. Spend a Sunday at Snow Mountain. Winter doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors. Bundle up and have a snow day at Stone Mountain Park. Enjoy snowman building, snowball fights, roasting marshmallows, making snow angels and more. Pick a Sunday before February 26, and take advantage of exclusive Gas South customer discounts.
  1. Enjoy The Greatest Show On Earth®. Families in Atlanta can see Ringling Bros. one last time before the touring circus closes permanently in May 2017. America’s favorite live family entertainment experience is coming to Philips Arena, February 15 to 20. Enjoy a 20 percent discount on tickets to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Circus XTREME with promo code GASSOUTH. Tickets are going fast!
  1. Cheer on the Atlanta Hawks. Watching the Hawks dominate team after team is an experience that is “true to Atlanta” and fun for the entire family. Gas South is even helping you score discounted tickets just for being a customer. Help root the Hawks to another victory!
  1. Visit the Georgia Aquarium. One of the world’s largest aquariums is right in the heart of Atlanta. Visit the Georgia Aquarium to enjoy exhibits, shows and galleries. Gas South customers can save some cash on ticket prices year-round. That’s Hometown Value – and you won’t find it anywhere else!
  1. Give back. Spread warmth and cheer by giving back and doing good. Local organizations such as the United Way of Greater Atlanta, Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta and Atlanta Community Food Bank are continuously working to provide care and support to thousands of residents in need across Georgia. Lend a helping hand and support a neighbor in need this winter.
Jan
20

A Day On, Not Off

In recognition of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, MLK Day of Service events are held nationwide. On Monday, January 16, we once again spent the day on – not off – as more than 50 Gas South employees and their family members volunteered with A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab Boulevard location.

Volunteers spent the day with residents – decorating doors for Valentine’s Day, helping residents create no sew blankets, downloading music and distributing iPods, assisting with BINGO and providing swag bags for more than 238 residents and staff of A. G. Rhodes. At the request of the staff, the MLK Day activities culminated with a sing-a-long. Aided by the center’s music therapist, employees and families reminisced and performed musical selections that the residents could identify with.

A.G. Rhodes is Atlanta’s and Marietta’s top nursing home provider of senior rehabilitation services and long-term care. As a not-for-profit organization, A.G. Rhodes provides the highest standard of care, which includes post-surgical recovery, therapeutic rehabilitation, and skilled nursing.

We’re thankful for the opportunity to share our time with A.G. Rhodes and support their mission. It’s our first of many volunteer days in 2017 and a meaningful touch point for our ongoing community outreach program, Gas South Cares. Here’s to moving us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”

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