Aug
31

Providing a Living Wage for Gas South’s Employees

There are certain moments as a business leader when you can pause and feel really proud about the work your company is doing. For me, yesterday was one of those days as we announced Gas South’s commitment to providing a living wage for all employees.

Beginning September 1, all hourly Gas South employees will earn a minimum wage of $15 per hour, which is more than double the federal rate. The Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported on the story, and the positive news has echoed throughout the local media landscape. We appreciate the support and how this announcement has spread through our community.

The decision to increase the minimum wage for hourly employees at Gas South was a simple one. It’s our goal to always provide an exceptional customer experience. To do that, we must be a top place to work with a motivating environment for our employees.

Our leadership team understands that exceptional service is made possible only by the hard work and commitment of our employees – the people who live out our commitment to customer service with the utmost efficiency and integrity. They deserve fair, competitive compensation for their work, and excellent pay along with benefits like health care, paid time off, and retirement contributions are all part of what makes Gas South a great place to work.

To sum, our wage increase boils down neatly to this:

  • Approximately 25 percent of the company’s overall workforce will see an increase in pay, specifically employees working in our customer care department.
  • The average wage increase among those affected is four percent with a maximum increase of 8.3 percent.

I’d also like to note to customers that this change will benefit them as well. Our rates will be just as competitive as they have always been, and we’ll continue to provide unparalleled value to our customers. In fact, we believe that even as we raise our hourly pay, our costs of doing business will go down. That’s because a $15 minimum wage will allow us to attract and retain the very best customer care employees, providing them with greater financial security and ultimately enhancing productivity. Therefore, we see a $15 minimum wage for our team members as a win for the company, our employees and our customers.

At the end of the day, each business has to make decisions based on what is right and what is possible within its own scope. Our decision to commit to a $15 minimum wage for our employees is not a political statement; it’s a Gas South statement. At Gas South, ensuring that each member of our team earns a living wage is a priority and it’s something that makes good business sense for our company.

Aug
24

Seasonal Natural Gas Customer?

It Pays to Schedule Your Reconnection Date Early!

These days, you’re probably wearing shades and shorts, lathered in sunscreen, grilling out, and trying to stay cool during Georgia’s unforgiving summer heat. So, let’s assume that you haven’t been thinking about your natural gas service much lately. That’s understandable – you’re focused on today’s realities.

But, with football and the next season of the Walking Dead around the corner, aren’t you thinking ahead to the fall anyway? Then let’s get you thinking about natural gas again because we want to save you time, money and potential hassle.

So here are a couple of tips to ensuring a stress-free, money-smart way to reconnect with your old flame (meaning Gas South, of course):

1. Schedule your reconnection date at your earliest convenience. You’ve heard the one about the early bird and the worm. And the same applies to your natural gas service. A lot of customers wait until it gets cold to schedule their service, by which time you may find yourself duking it out with others for a reconnection date that works for you. Worse, you could also miss out on saving instant money! That’s because Gas South is waiving the $95 reconnection fee for all customers who schedule their reconnection date by September 15th. So do the smart thing: contact us now, save the money, and feel good knowing that your home will be nice and cozy come October.

2. Choose a fixed rate plan. If you know us, then you know we’ll almost always tell you to select a fixed rate over a variable rate, unless you’re moving soon. Fixed rates stay the same, are better value, and ours are some of the most competitive available.

3. Do whatever you like — hike Stone Mountain, go to the opera, catch a Braves game. Your to-do list got a little lighter, and we’d be happy to treat you to free tickets for some great Atlanta-area entertainment through our Pick Your Perk program – another cool thing about being a Gas South customer.

So don’t wait another day to schedule your reconnection date. Call or visit before September 15th. That way, when it gets cold, you won’t have to think about your natural gas.

Call: 1-888-290-4727 and mention SEASONAL.
Visit: gas-south.com/seasonal

Aug
11

How to Turn On Your Natural Gas

The Gas South Guide

Getting utilities up and running can be a hassle. We get it — we’ve been there! There’s research to be done, calls to be made and sometimes, a lot of time sitting on hold.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. At Gas South, we’re here to make it easier.

Whether you’ve just moved or you simply need to turn your service back on, you’re going to need natural gas service at some point. Fortunately, the process of getting your gas turned on can be a cinch! Just use this simple, four-step guide and you’ll be ready to go in no time.

  1. Check for service availability in your area

Not every natural gas provider serves all areas of the state, so it’s important to check for service availability before you are set on one provider. Most providers post this information directly on their website. If you’re moving to Georgia and looking to find out more, we have just the page just for you!

It’s also worth noting that if you’re signing with Gas South, you could qualify for an additional discount if your home or apartment falls within a territory covered by our county, city and EMC programs (check out this page for a full list of partners within the program).

  1. Do your research on natural gas providers

Georgia is unique in that it’s a deregulated gas industry. Which means that you can choose a provider for your natural gas, instead of having only one option and I being chosen for you.

The good news is that there are a lot of options out there to choose from, and Gas South stands out among the providers…if we do say so ourselves.

We won’t go on and on about our own services — you can learn all about those on our Residential Page. But we will tell you that whichever provider you choose, they shouldn’t charge you a deposit to establish service. With Gas South, this can save you up to $150. Pretty cool, huh?

  1. Determine how long you need your natural gas service turned on at your residence

Once you’ve found a provider you like, you’ll want to think about how long you need service. When you think about utilities, you may not be thinking about the timeframe during which you’ll be using them, but this can have a big impact on the type of rate plan you choose, and the price you pay!

By nailing down a specific timeline, you’ll know which type of rate plan to choose right off the bat – variable or fixed (keep in mind not all providers feature both).

If you’re going to be a resident for longer than six months, a fixed rate can save you money because currently, fixed rates are lower than variable rates. Variable rates fluctuate with the natural gas markets, while fixed rates stay the same throughout your entire service period. Fixed rates can offer significant savings over a long period of time, especially during the high consumption months of winter.

  1. Pick a turn-on date that fits your schedule

Once you have your provider picked out, it’s time to schedule your natural gas turn on date and time. If your natural gas is completely turned off, a technician needs to come to your house to turn it on. If the gas is already on, all the tech needs to do is check the meter and make sure everything is up and running correctly, and safely.

With Gas South, you can schedule your turn on date 60 days in advance, which means you can lock in a great rate today, all while having ample time to prepare for winter weather. All you have to do is schedule your turn on date and leave the rest to us!

There you have it! Now that you have the steps down, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Gas South Customer Care Representative if you have any additional questions, or if you want more information on our rates and plans!

Aug
4

4 Professional Development Lessons from a Gas Pipeline

IMG_1038As an HR professional in the natural gas industry, drawing the connection between a career pipeline and a gas pipeline was an ‘aha’ moment – and a teachable lesson that really resonated with me. Here’s an excerpt from my recent presentation at the Women’s Energy Network, Greater Atlanta Chapter meeting on four professional development lessons from a natural gas pipeline.

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  1. Maintenance: Over time, gas pipelines require regular maintenance and upkeep to ensure they continue to safely and properly deliver natural gas to homes and businesses. Most industries are ever-changing, which requires you to continually fine-tune your skills and hone your craft to stay on top of your game. Every day is an opportunity to continue learning and finding ways to add more value.
  1. Growth: Maintenance alone isn’t enough – gas pipelines need to be primed for long-term sustainability so they continue to serve the growing needs. Similarly, your career needs to be targeted for growth opportunities. As you move up the corporate ladder from refining skills to refining behaviors, you’ll polish more nuanced competencies such as interpersonal skills, organization habits and critical thinking.
  1. Supply and Demand: As supply and demand have leveled out recently, so has the pricing of natural gas. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for today’s job market – especially in the metro Atlanta area where the supply of job candidates far outweighs the demand for available positions. If you find yourself hitting a road block in your career path, take a risk and find a new area where the demand is high but the supply is low. I’ve done this with my career, and it’s taken me in new, exciting directions from lobbying to PR.
  1. High Quality Service: Natural gas is a commodity, which makes it a very competitive environment for the 13 natural gas marketers in Georgia. At Gas South, we differentiate ourselves by providing an exceptional customer experience and always going above and beyond for our customers. Consistently producing a top quality work product and lightening the load for others around you will help you standout in your career and get a leg up on the competition.
Jul
21

Employee Spotlight: Wellness Committee

It’s mid-summer and everyone is working hard to get in shape and make healthy decisions to look and feel their best! Gas South’s Wellness Committee works year-round to provide employees with educational tools and resources so they are able to become the best version of themselves. For this month’s Employee Spotlight, we spoke with Harli Gawronski, human resources coordinator, to learn more about the committee, their initiatives and why it’s important to provide employees with tools to succeed. Harli leads the Wellness Committee which is a team of six employees from different departments at Gas South.

When did the Wellness Committee start?

The committee started about three years ago in order to provide Gas South employees with more awareness about healthy lifestyle choices.

Why was the Wellness Committee created?

It was originally created to help employees get up and move, considering the majority of our employee sit at a desk all day. Since the start three years ago, we now have more concrete goals, leadership buy-in, employee engagement, participation and focus. We are currently working through a three-year implementation plan that aims to encourage employees to take more responsibility in managing their health and wellness. In 2015, we raised awareness about being healthy and the costs when employees make poor lifestyle choices. In 2016, we are requiring employees to take responsibility for themselves – employees will pay less for coverage by knowing their health numbers, and engaging in activities to get their numbers in the healthy range. In 2017, employees will receive financial rewards towards their medical coverage premiums tied to the results of the biometric screening, rather than just participating in the screening.

What are the focus areas and goals of the committee this year?

Since we want employees to take the initiative to be responsible for their healthy or unhealthy lifestyle decisions, we are focusing on nutrition in order to address, and then impact, the risk categories from our biometric screens – which take into consideration BMI and waist circumference.

What are the specific initiatives that will be implemented to reach those goals?

Every other month, we bring a local vegetable farmer into the office to encourage employees to investigate healthy eating options.  We also provide employees with a voucher so they do not need to spend any of their own money to make a purchase, unless they choose to purchase additional produce. We also continue to have fruit delivered every other month to create a culture of healthy eating.

Another initiative, the Wellness in Action Run/Walk Program, promotes movement and physical activity. We’re encouraging Gas South employees to walk or run in local road races throughout the year. Gas South sponsors a walk/run each month for up to ten Gas South employees and we have already had a few successful walks/runs to date!

Gas South also recently gave all employees portion plates to correspond with our initiative to improve and educate employees about nutrition’s role in a healthy lifestyle. The plate stresses healthy portion sizes and is split up into three sections – fruits and vegetables, grains, and proteins.

Do you have any employee challenges planned?

We are implementing a nutrition challenge in July and a weight loss challenge at the beginning of the year.

Why does wellness play such an important role at corporations?

Wellness can impact so many different areas of a corporation from retention to engagement to work/life balance. Wellness is also a major driver or healthcare costs.

Why is it important to you, personally, to be involved with the Wellness Committee?

To me, wellness is a lifestyle and I feel very passionate about it. Wellness is not only physical, but also mental and spiritual. It’s a holistic experience that bleeds into every part of one’s life. Secondly, being part of the Wellness Committee enables me to impact other people’s lives and for that, I’m very grateful.

Wellness committee members include:

Harli Gawronski
Julie Moffitt
Jonna Tiitinen
Denise Johnson
Tamika Smith
Brian Dugas
Tonya Long (Millennium Benefits)

Apr
26

It’s Official – Gas South is a Top Place to Work!

Last month, Gas South was named one of Atlanta’s best places to work by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). The award was a deserving recognition of our unique culture that values the contributions of all employees. According to the survey, Gas South’s practices of encouraging new ideas and open communication of company decisions received the highest survey scores − earning more than 20 percent above the telecommunication and utility industry category average.

event pictureGas South was the only natural gas provider to make the AJC’s list and one of only two utility companies to receive the recognition ‒ the other being Carroll EMC. So, what makes us different from the rest?

The answer has to do with instilling a clear vision of the company’s values and the role employees play in harnessing its development and growth. Kevin Greiner, president and CEO, refers to this as Vision 2020. Employees described Vision 2020 in the survey responses as a reason the company is a top workplace, with one employee saying, “knowing leadership can get everyone on board to move in the right direction motivates me to want to be part of making it happen.”

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The AJC and Workplace Dynamics nominated or asked more than 2,500 companies to participate in the contest. Workplace Dynamics, which conducted the survey on behalf of the AJC, then surveyed employees from 275 metro Atlanta companies. Almost 60,000 total workers participated in the survey and in order to be considered, each company was required to have a response rate of at least 35 percent. The survey asked numerous questions about employees’ workplaces including the company has strong values and ethics, new ideas are encouraged, we do things efficiently and well, I feel appreciated, etc. Here are a few of examples of how Gas South employees responded:

“The company has increased my personal growth.”
“I’ve been given the opportunity to grow and express my opinions.”
“We are one big family and everyone works together!”
“Management is very involved with the company and employees.”
“I admire the strong presence that Gas South has in the community.”

The award is a fitting recognition for the company, especially for employees, as we celebrate our 10 year anniversary! We have quickly gone from a small company of 50 employees, to a market leader with more than 200 employees.

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Gas South continues to work toward the company-wide vision of being the #1 natural gas provider in the Southeast, offering the #1 customer experience and being the #1 place to work. With this award, we’re inspired to work harder and make the best even better!

To read more about AJC’s Top Workplaces and to see the entire list, visit http://www.ajc.com/s/business/topworkplaces/#the-companies.

Jan
22

Celebrating 10 Years of Gas South

On January 4th, we began the 10 Days of Gas South – celebrating the company’s 10 year anniversary! Each day had a theme where employees could share pictures on their personal Twitter accounts using the hashtag #10YearsofGasSouth. Employees who participated in the activities were entered into prize drawings and winners were randomly selected throughout the 10 days. See the pictures below to find out how employees took part in the 10 Days of Gas South!

Day One: 10 Years Ago…
Gas South’s first day as a company!

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Day Two: Good Deed Day

Employees did good deeds for coworkers today!

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Day Three: Health and Wellness Day
Employees showed us how they stay healthy and enjoyed chair massages at the office.

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Day Four: #TBT Day

Employees wore their favorite 2006 fashion trends!

TBT-Day-217x300Day Five: Employees shared pictures in their new 10th anniversary polos!

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Day Six: Gas South 10th Anniversary Party

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Day Seven: Family and Friends Day – Employees shared pictures of what they do in their free time.

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Day Eight: A History of Gas South Day – Check out our old Gas South slogans.
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Day Nine: Lunch Buddy Day – Employees enjoyed a catered lunch to keep the celebration rolling!

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Day Ten: “10 Things we Love about Gas South” Day

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Nov
11

Employee Spotlight: Veterans Day

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 On November 11, 1919 President Wilson proclaimed the first commemoration of Armistice Day, also known as Veterans Day, to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces. According to History.com, there are approximately 23.2 million military veterans in the United States, 7.8 million of those veterans served during the Vietnam War era (1964-1975), including Gas South’s own Sandra Hamilton, which represents 33% of all living veterans.

To honor the veterans that work at Gas South, we spoke with four employees about their service and what Veterans Day means to them. Don’t miss the opportunity to thank a veteran in your life for the sacrifices they have made for our safety.

Juawana Glass, Navy 

Rank: E-5
Location of service: Mayport, Fla.; Diego Garcis, Chagos Island; Agana, Guam; Atlanta, Ga.
Length of service: 8 years
Wars: Global War on Terrorism
Job/Assignment: Religious Program Specialist (RP), also known as a Chaplain’s assistant
Medals/Citations: Junior Sailor of the Quarter, runner up for Junior Sailor of the Year, President of the Junior Sailor Association, Navy Good Conduct Service Medal (2), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (for serving during a war time), Overseas Deployment Service Medal (for serving overseas), Humanitarian Service Medal (for continued volunteer work), 9MM Pistol and Sharpshooter Ribbon, 14MM Rifle Sharpshooter, Letter of Commendations (5)

  • What does it mean to you to be a veteran? It means sacrifice! Sacrifice of your family for the dedication to your Country. I am proud to have served the time that I did – I often contemplate returning to duty. The comradery that you get in the military is irreplaceable!

LaTitia “Tish” Winbush, Army

  • Rank: Specialist, E-4
  • Location of service: Charlotte, N.C.
  • Length of service: 6 years
  • Job/Assignment: Unit Supply Specialist
  • What does it mean to you to be a veteran? A veteran to me means that you have separated yourself from the rest of your peers and have done something the normal person wouldn’t do for their country. It means that you are willing to give up your life for someone else’s and be proud of who you have and will become.

Sandra Hamilton, Air Force

  • Rank: Airman 1st Class
  • Location of service: San Antonio, Texas (Kelly and Lackland Air Force Bases); Fort Collins, Colo.
  • Length of service: 2.4 years
  • Wars: End of Vietnam
  • Job/Assignment: Intelligence Operations Specialist
  • What does it mean to you to be a veteran? Pride and honor to be able to serve our country and protect our freedom.

Stephon White, Army

Rank: Specialist (SPC)
Location of service: Fort Polk, La.
Length of service: 4 years
Wars: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Job/Assignment: Administrative Specialist
Medals/Citations: National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal

  • What does it mean to you to be a veteran? Simply put, it means I had the opportunity to serve and protect the greatest country on earth.

Tiara Allen, Army
Rhonda Garrett, Army
Sandra Clark, Army

Gas South will also be attending the Cobb Chamber 63rd ARMAC Military Appreciation Luncheon on November 16th. The event honors men and women in uniform, and attendees will hear from Congressman Mac Thornberry, Chairman of the House of Armed Services Committee.

Gas South offers a 2-cent per therm discount on Variable and Fixed Rate plans to military veterans and active military personnel.  No deposit is required to establish service. Visit https://www.gas-south.com/residential/rate-plans.aspx and click on Military Rates for more information.

Thank you to veterans across the U.S. for their sacrifice and service!

Feb
12

Gas South invites a special group of Atlanta-area children to experience The Greatest Show on Earth

Gas South is excited to take over 300 children with special needs and their families to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Legend Circus for a truly magical experience.

This will be Gas South’s sixth year taking children to the circus, and it is always the highlight of my year.

The children and their families will be hosted on the show floor to participate in hands-on activities such as face painting, interacting with circus performers, and dressing up with the clowns. Activities are designed for children with a range of special needs who otherwise may not be able to enjoy the “Greatest Show on Earth.”

pic1-300x199 Take a look at the smiles on these kids’ faces at last year’s event

The pre-show activities are designed specifically for children with a range of special needs. Children with hearing impairments will be provided with sign language interpreters for the floor show and circus performance, while the pre-show elements for children with visual impairments will focus on touch and sound experiences. Feld also works with each venue to provide wheelchair access and seating for other mobility devices.

pic2-300x199Isaac Afolabi of Duluth gives a thumbs up to Jimmy Burnette, mayor of Suwanee, Ga., at last year’s Magical Journey

We’re grateful to our partners, the Metro Atlanta Mayors Association, the Georgia Municipal Association and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s Circus producer, Feld Entertainment for making these events possible each year.

This event allows the children and their families, who rarely get the opportunity to enjoy the simple thrills of childhood, to take a break from the day-to-day challenges they face and just have fun for a night.

pic3-300x199Parents, Todd and Lila Cooperiter of Brookhaven, soak in the moment with son, Colin at last year’s Magical Journey

We hope you can join us for a fun night at the circus!

Gas South customers can save 20 percent on tickets to The Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey® Circus. Click here to check out the offer, and we’ll see you at the circus!

Nov
26

Employee Spotlight, Military Series – Juawana (Croswell) Glass

This month, Gas South is spotlighting several employees who previously served in the military. We’re proud that these employees, who sacrificed so much to serve our country, have chosen to work at Gas South.

Juawana (Croswell) Glass, Executive Assistant and Human Resources Coordinator, began working for Gas South after serving eight years in the U.S. Navy. Juawana says her military experience helped shape who she is today – as a person, community member and Gas South employee. We sat down with Juawana to learn a bit more about her past.

What was your occupation while in the military? What did that role entail?  

I was a Religious Program Specialist in the Navy. I was responsible for preparing personnel for deployment overseas. Serving our country during times of war can be emotionally taxing, so I helped to prepare soldiers by providing them with counseling and spiritual enrichment services. My job also included administrative duties like accounting and coordinating deployment logistics.

Did you perform any tours of duty during times of war? If so, when and in what capacity?

I served during Operation Enduring Freedom (in Afghanistan). My main duty was to protect the Chaplain when we went into the field and on the base during what’s called “complete base lockdown.” Chaplains are non-combatants for religious purposes, so it was up to people like me to provide security.

What was the most memorable moment of your military career?

Enlisting. After I enlisted, every moment while serving my country was an amazing experience. It was a journey that I was destined to take. From the places I traveled to the people I met, every second was memorable.

Do you currently volunteer with any community organizations? If so, what is the organization and what is your role with them?

I volunteer with the Genesis Shelter, which is a homeless shelter for babies under six months of age and their families. I’ve assisted the organization in various roles including serving food, job training and holiday drives.

Has your military past had an influence on your role in the community? If so how? 

Yes, the military broadened my horizons on life and I realized my calling to give back to my community.

Why was serving your country and community important to you?

Serving my country was so important to me because it gave me a sense of pride. I’m proud to say I made a contribution to this country. I honestly miss getting up every day, putting on my uniform, and preparing to protect and serve my community.

 How has your military past affected your role at Gas South?

Serving in the military has benefitted me in my role at Gas South. I’m able to utilize most of the skills I developed in the Navy here at the Gas South office.