UGI Connection

a blog from UGI Utilities, Inc.

Featured Community Organization: Operation Share

FLY_OpShare_iStock_000006934653Large_fullThe holiday season is a time to be with family and loved ones. It is a time to celebrate what we have and enjoy the comfort and warmth of our homes while it is cold outside. Unfortunately, there are some people who cannot enjoy a warm home this winter.

This year, there is something you can do during the giving season to help those in need. You can donate to UGI’s Operation Share Energy Fund.  The Operation Share Energy Fund has been providing assistance grants to qualified customers who experience difficulty paying their heating bills since 1983, and this year is no different. The program is funded by voluntary donations from UGI employees, UGI customers and concerned citizens. 100% of every dollar donated goes directly to a household in need. In addition, donations by concerned citizens, customers and employees are matched every year by UGI.

In 2014, the Operation Share Energy Fund helped 1,709 families stay warm over the winter. Recipients share their stories of how Operation Share helped them when they needed it.

If you are having trouble paying your heating bills, please visit the Operation Share website to find out if qualify and to learn how to get assistance.

We wish you a happy holiday season!

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Know the Signs of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) detector

Consider purchasing a smoke carbon monoxide detector.

Cold weather is here and as the number of carbon monoxide (CO) incidents have begun to rise, UGI urges customers to take steps to ensure proper operation of natural gas-fire equipment and appliances to prevent a build-up of CO inside homes and work spaces.

What is carbon monoxide (CO)?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that is a by-product of the incomplete combustion of fuels such as wood, charcoal, gasoline, kerosene, oil, natural gas and propane. Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness.

 

What can you do to stay safe this winter season?

  • UGI encourages all customers to properly maintain their natural gas appliances. A malfunctioning furnace, boiler, water heater or stove can emit CO into a home. In addition, damaged or rusted exhaust vents, chimneys and flues can result in high levels of CO migrating into living spaces.
  • Customers are also urged to ensure that both internal and external combustion air vents are unobstructed. Vents can become blocked by vegetation or animal nest materials during the warm weather months, and it’s important to clear any debris or other obstructions away from vents prior to winter.
  • Customers should ensure that equipment rooms or utility spaces are properly sized and provide appropriate levels of ventilation and air circulation around heating equipment and appliances to ensure their safe operation. Be aware that enclosing furnaces and water heaters in small rooms during remodeling or renovation can reduce air flow and create a potentially unsafe situation.

What are the signs of carbon monoxide?

  • Significant condensation on walls and windows;
  • House plants dying;
  • House pets becoming sluggish;
  • Chronic odors from a malfunctioning appliance;
  • Residents in the home suffering flu-like symptoms or feeling unusually tired.

Carbon monoxide can be fatal. Individuals who think they may be experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning should immediately seek fresh air and prompt medical attention. For more safety tips, visit us online at www.ugi.com/safety.

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Find the Perfect Dish for Your Holiday Dinner

istock_000022450828small_720x479_72_rgbStill looking for that perfect dish to serve at your dinner table this Thanksgiving? The UGI Holiday Entertaining Cookbook has everything you need for that perfect meal this holiday season. Whether you’re looking for a hearty Pennsylvania Dutch dish or something to satisfy your sweet tooth, our cookbook has something for everyone!

 

Here are a few of our employee’s favorite holiday dishes:

Find these and many more when you check out our online Holiday Entertaining Cookbook today! Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving from all of us at UGI!

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Energy Tip: Weatherstripping

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Weatherstripping is an easy way to reduce energy costs and keep your home warm this winter.

Keep cold air out this winter with energy-efficient weatherstripping around your windows and doors. Installing caulk, seal, or weatherstripping around window frames, baseboards, fireplace dampers, window-mounted air conditioners, and door frames will help eliminate air leaks and drafts while saving you energy and money on your energy bill.

For weekly energy tips, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/UGIUtilities) or visit us online at www.ugi.com/saveenergy.

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Need help paying your gas bill this winter?

UGI's Customer Outreach team is ready to assist customers who need assistance this heating season.

UGI’s Customer Outreach team is ready to assist customers who need assistance this heating season.

UGI offers a comprehensive set of customer assistance programs designed to assist customers who have difficulty paying their energy bill despite their best efforts.

UGI’s customer assistance programs include:

  • LIHEAP – Pennsylvania’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps qualified income-eligible energy consumers pay their heating bills through energy assistance grants. If approved, a grant is sent to UGI on your behalf and you do not have to pay back the grant amount.
  • Operation Share – Provides direct financial assistance to low-income families who are unable to pay natural gas bills because of unemployment, disabilities, significant medical expenses, and other hardships. Donations from UGI employees and customers fund the Operation Share program, and UGI matches gifts received up to a maximum contribution total of $50,000. Tax deductible donations can be made online at www.ugi.com/operationshare.
  • LIURP (Low-Income Usage Reduction Program) – Provides home energy-saving measures designed to limit heat loss and help lower heating bills. LIURP is an income-based weatherization program for customers with higher-than-average energy usage.
  • CARES (Customer Assistance Referral and Evaluation Services) – Provides, through a network of local social agencies, personal assistance to those in need during a temporary crisis with referrals to agencies and programs within the individual’s community.
  • CAP (Customer Assistance Program) – Offers special reduced payment plans and debt forgiveness for customers in need.

For more information, please contact UGI at 1-800-UGI-WARM (1-800-844-9276) to speak with a UGI outreach representative.

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Featured Community Organization: American Cancer Society

More than one million people get cancer each year in the United States. There are numerous types of cancer that people struggle with. It is a frightening and hard battle for anyone who has, or knows someone who has cancer. UGI’s Featured Community Organization for November is the American Cancer Society (ACS). ACS has strived to help all those fighting the battle of cancer for over 100 years.

The mission of the American Cancer Society is to eliminate cancer as a major health problems. Millions of passionate volunteer’s worldwide work to help people get well and stay well, find cures, and fight back against cancer to achieve that mission.

ACS helps patients get well with day-to-day help and emotional support every day. They provide resources to find support and treatment to help people on their journey to get well. They provide the information to help people stay well by living healthier lives, quitting smoking, and getting cancer screenings. They are the largest nongovernmental funder of cancer research in the United States, spending more than $4 billion to find cures, and they work with lawmakers to pass national and state laws to defeat cancer and rally communities worldwide to join their fight.

ACS is the featured community organization for November, because November holds Great American Smokeout Day. Great American Smokeout Day is November 17th. It is a day to encourage smokers to make a plan to quit, or make a plan in advance and quitting smoking that day. By quitting, even for one day, smokers are taking a step to leading a healthier life.

Not only does the American Cancer Society greatly help those in need but so do many of the local cancer associations:

  • Cancer Support Center of the Greater Lehigh Valley
    According to the Cancer Support Center of the Greater Lehigh Valley website they want to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community. This cancer center wants to be the recognized regional leaser for comprehensive programs of support, education and hope for persons affected by cancer in the Greater Lehigh Valley.
  • Northeast Regional Cancer Institute
    According to cancernepa.org the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute is a local, non-profit organization working to ease the burden of cancer in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Cancer Institute is a resource in Northeast Pennsylvania for cancer education services, regional statistics and information on cancer.
  • Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute
    According to lancastergeneralhealth.org the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute provides fully integrated cancer services that emphasize leading edge treatment options and enhance survival to ensure a better quality of life for patients and their families.
  • The Penn State Health St. Joseph Cancer Center
    According to thefutureofhealthcare.org, the Penn State Health St. Joseph Cancer Center groups the oncology specialists together to facilitate more frequent consultations and better patient coordination.
  • Pinnacle Health Cancer Institute
    According to pinnaclehealth.org, we treat our patients like family. As one of the lardest providers of cancer care in the region, we understand that cancer diagnosis is just the beginning of a journey that will affect each person and his or her loved ones in a unique way.
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Need Help Paying Your Energy Bill?

UGI offers a comprehensive set of customer assistance programs designed to assist customers who have difficulty paying their energy bill despite their best efforts.

UGI's Customer Outreach Team is ready to assist those in need this heating season.

UGI’s Customer Outreach Team is ready to assist those in need this heating season.

UGI’s customer assistance programs include:

  • LIHEAP – Pennsylvania’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps qualified income-eligible energy consumers pay their heating bills through energy assistance grants. If approved, a grant is sent to UGI on your behalf and you do not have to pay back the grant amount.
  • Operation Share – Provides direct financial assistance to low-income families who are unable to pay natural gas bills because of unemployment, disabilities, significant medical expenses, and other hardships. Donations from UGI employees and customers fund the Operation Share program, and UGI matches gifts received up to a maximum contribution total of $50,000. Tax deductible donations can be made online at www.ugi.com/operationshare.
  • LIURP (Low-Income Usage Reduction Program) – Provides home energy-saving measures designed to limit heat loss and help lower heating bills. LIURP is an income-based weatherization program for customers with higher-than-average energy usage.
  • CARES (Customer Assistance Referral and Evaluation Services) – Provides, through a network of local social agencies, personal assistance to those in need during a temporary crisis with referrals to agencies and programs within the individual’s community.
  • CAP (Customer Assistance Program) – Offers special reduced payment plans and debt forgiveness for customers in need.

For more information, please contact UGI at 1-800-UGI-WARM (1-800-844-9276) to speak with a UGI outreach representative.

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West Region Days of Caring

UGI is proud to support the United Way and the communities we serve through volunteer initiatives across our service territory. Recently, UGI employee volunteers celebrated United Way Days of Caring by donating their time and effort to a number of community projects in our West Region.

Volunteer events included:

  • In partnership with Huntingdon County United Way, UGI volunteers worked together to perform lawn maintenance and landscaping for senior citizens in Broad Top.
Jason McMahon, Rhonda Brennerman, and Trevor Dubbs rack leaves and preform fall garden maintenance for senior citizens in Broad Top.

Jason McMahon, Rhonda Brennerman, and Trevor Dubbs rack leaves and preform fall garden maintenance for senior citizens in Broad Top.

  • The Skills community home in Lewistown received a fresh seal coating on their driveways during United Way of Mifflin-Juniata’s Day of Caring.
Ken Krepps, Mike Fultz, Tannie Cullison, and Tammie Towry get into the giving spirit while sealcoating driveways in Lewistown.

Ken Krepps, Mike Fultz, Tannie Cullison, and Tammie Towry get into the giving spirit while seal coating driveways in Lewistown.

 

  • Employees from the Lancaster area helped out at Behavior Health Development Services. The team of UGI volunteers worked hard while landscaping and tree trimming around the BHDS property.
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UGI employees from the Lancaster office spent the day performing yard work and tree maintenance for the Behavioral Health Development Services in Lancaster.

  • Alongside the United Way of the Capital Region, UGI employees from our Middletown location provided Hidden Valley Scout Reservation in Loysville with a fresh coat of paint. The team also cut wood to ensure a season of campfires for young scouts attending the camp.
Our Middletown office employees got their hands dirty while revitalizing Hidden Valley Scout Reservation for future Boy Scout adventures.

Our Middletown office employees got their hands dirty while revitalizing Hidden Valley Scout Reservation for future Boy Scout adventures.

 

UGI strongly supports the communities we serve. Our employees work constantly to continue our community commitment to give back. To learn more about UGI’s community efforts, visit www.ugi.com/community.

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Stay Safe: Gas Meter Safety

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Keep the area surrounding your meter clear of brush and debris.

 Protect your meter from potentially hazardous situations.

UGI personnel must be able to easily access your meter to perform functions such as meter readings, periodic safety checks, routine maintenance, as well as manage critical tasks in an emergency.

To help ensure that your meter functions properly, safely, and dependably, please follow these important tips:

 

If you have an outdoor meter:

  • Keep meter clear of any landscaping that obstructs access or visibility. Shrubs and plants should be trimmed regularly.
  • Do not build decking or fencing that blocks access to the meter.
  • Instruct children not to climb on, or play near, a meter. Any extra weight can damage the meter and connecting pipes.
  • In the winter, carefully clear ice and snow from the meter as well as any appliance exhaust vents. Be sure to clean and repair leaky seams in your eaves, gutters and downspouts to prevent melting snow and ice from dripping onto the meter.
  • Never use a snow blower or plow around a meter. Shovel or broom the immediate area carefully by hand.
  • If the snowfall is deep, please clear a safe path to the meter.
  • Do not tamper with your meter, or attempt to service or maintain the meter yourself.
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UGI meter readers must have clear and easy access to your natural gas meter.

If you have an indoor meter:

  • Keep the area surrounding the meter clear of boxes, furniture, shelves, etc.
  • Do not build walls or paneling that obstructs access to the meter.
  • Never hang or lean anything against a meter.
  • Instruct children not to climb on, or play near, a meter.
  • Do not tamper with your meter, or attempt to service or maintain the meter yourself.

Call UGI at (800) 276-2722 immediately if you damage the meter or smell natural gas around the meter. For more safety tips, visit us online at www.ugi.com/safety

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UGI Employees Ride for Animal Rescue

Speranza Motorcycle Ride 2

UGI’s six-person team rode more than 70 miles in support of Speranza Animal Rescue.

Recently, several UGI employees came together for a motorcycle fundraiser ride in support of the Speranza Animal Rescue, located in Mechanicsburg, PA. The group of six raised more than $1,100 in donations for the animal rescue and rode over 70 miles, beginning in Harrisburg, PA and concluding their ride at Knoebels Park.

Speranza Motorcycle Ride 3

“We’re very excited to support the Speranza Animal Rescue and help make a difference in our community. The weather was perfect for riding and everyone had a wonderful time,” said Tammie Lowry, Community Relations Manager-West Region.

To learn more about UGI’s involvement in our communities, visit www.ugi.com/community.

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