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UGI Connection

a blog from UGI Utilities, Inc.

UGI Gifts $50,000 to SHINE Afterschool Programs

UGI kicked off 2017 with a focus on education throughout our service territory. In mid-January, UGI presented the Lehigh Carbon Community College Carbon and Schuylkill SHINE (Schools and Homes in Education) afterschool program with $40,000 for the new MarkerSpace classroom at L.B. Morris Elementary in Jim Thorpe. The MakerSpace classroom will allow students to explore areas of STEM through hands-on activities, including design and creation using 3-D printing. Recently students used an opportunity to turn a lesson about weather and erosion to print 3-D models of clouds and weather formations. The new classroom will be available to Jim Thorpe SHINE students along with the more than 1,000 students at L.B. Morris Elementary.

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UGI’s Thea Phalon, Community Relations Manager-East Region, presented the check to school and SHINE officials during the classroom’s formal unveiling. “We see what that money does and that is so important because we can see this changing kids lives,” she said. “It’s really rewarding to see these kinds of programs grow and strength and be sustainable and have great outcomes. You know you’re putting your money in a good place. To get to see kids using MakerSpace and have different opportunities that we never had as kids and to have that at a school regardless of their income and have access to a 3-D printer, all these things that are really helping kids think and learn to think and learn for themselves, it’s really exciting.”

In early February, UGI presented the Luzerne County SHINE with $10,000 to help benefit more than 360 students involved in the SHINE afterschool program. Modeled after the success of the Carbon County SHINE program, Luzerne County SHINE strives to provide students with project-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Technology) activities for students in grades 1 through 8.

For more information about UGI’s commitment to early learning and STEM education programs, visit us online at www.ugi.com/community.

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UGI Donates $25,000 to Penn College

In early February, UGI presented the Pennsylvania College of Technology with $25,000 to benefit the college’s NOW dual-enrollment program and the SMART Girls summer camp. Each year, hundreds of local high school-aged students gain hands-on experience in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields through these innovative programs.

Penn College NOW is a nationally accredited program which allows students from 42 participating high schools or career and technology centers to earn college credits through courses taught by Penn College-approved teachers.

SMART (Science and Math Applications in Real-World Technologies) Girls summer camp offers girls in 9th – 11th grade  the opportunity to experience science and math as a foundation for future careers in technology.

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Ann Blaskiewicz, Community Relations Manager-North Region (right), presents a gift of $25,000 to Elizabeth A. Biddle, Director of Corporate Relations for Penn College.

“UGI recognizes the importance of education in preparing the students of today to be our community leaders of tomorrow,” said Keith Dorman, UGI Director of Communications and Community Relations. “UGI is especially pleased to provide support for this Penn College program that encourages young women to pursue careers in science and technology, a critical career path for our company and for our country.”

UGI is proud to support career awareness and readiness along with STEM initiatives throughout our service territory. For more information about UGI’s community efforts, visit us online at www.ugi.com/community.

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11 Energy Saving Tips for Spring and Summer

switch to gas 300x129 - 11 Energy Saving Tips for Spring and SummerWinter weather may still be in the forecast, but the first day of spring is only a month away. As the warmer weather approaches and our thoughts turn to making outdoor plans and adventures, it’s important to ensure your home is ready to help save you money and energy during the summer months.

Follow these tips to help keep you and your family cool while saving energy and money:

  1. At night, turn off the air conditioning and open your windows. In the morning, shut windows and blinds to capture the cold air from the night before.
  2. Use window coverings to prevent heat gain during the day.
  3. Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The small difference between indoor and outdoor temperature
  4.  Keep your home warmer than normal when you are away. A programmable thermostat is a great way to ensure temperature control when you’re not at home.
  5. Turn off ceiling fans when you leave a room.
  6. Install an Energy Star rate ventilation fans in your kitchen and bathrooms to remove heat and humidity in your home.
  7. Schedule regular maintenance for your HVAC system and always change the filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  8. Install LED light bulbs to reduce heat and save energy.
  9. Wash only full loads of laundry to help save on water and power use.
  10. Prevent hot air from leaking into your home during the summer months by sealing air leaks in your attic and around doors and windows.
  11. During warm weather, hang wet laundry out to air dry.

Not sure where to start? A home energy assessment is a great place to star. You can find out where you can improve energy efficiency in your home. UGI Electric is currently offering residential electric customers the chance to win a Home Energy Assessment for only $50 (a $500 value)! To find out how you can enter to win your home energy assessment and a $100 Lowe’s gift card, click here.

For more energy saving tips, visit us online at www.ugi.com/savesmart or www.energy.gov.

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UGI is Still Accepting Applications for Customer Assistance Programs

Do you or a loved one need assistance with your utility bill this heating season? UGI is committed to helping customers who make a sincere effort to pay their bills. With winter weather likely sticking around for a few more months, UGI will continue to accept applications for LIURP (Low Income Usage Reduction Program) and LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) through March 31, 2017.

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UGI’s Customer Outreach team is available to answer all your questions about UGI’s assistance programs.

What are LIURP and LIHEAP?

  • LIURP or weatherization program, offers free energy conservation measures to high usage, low income households to make energy bills more affordable. Possible energy saving measures include: ceiling insulation; floor, duct, and hot water pipe insulation; caulking and weatherstripping; gas heater repairs; and water flow restrictors.

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  • LIHEAP helps income-eligible energy consumers pay their heating bills through energy assistance grants. Grants are FREE and available to those who meet the income requirements. For those in an emergency situation, LIHEAP crisis grants are also available. Emergency situations include: broken heating equipment, being without fuel, or being in danger of having utility service terminated.liheap-logo

Assistance for those in emergency situations is available 24 hours a day. To learn more about LIURP and LIHEAP services and to speak with a program representative, contact us at 1-800-UGI-WARM (844-9276) or visit us online at www.ugi.com/customerassistance.

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February Little Reader Pick

February is Black History Month, a month dedicated to the celebration of achievements by black Americans and recognizing their roles in shaping American history. To celebrate Black History Month, UGI has chosen The Story of Ruby Bridges as our February Little Reader Pick.

Written by Robert Coles and illustrated by George Ford, The Story of Ruby Bridges describes six-year-old Ruby’s experiences when a judge orders her to attend first grade at the local all-white elementary school. The powerful narrative illustrates Ruby’s strength and courage while growing up in the early 1960s in New Orleans.

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At UGI Utilities, we are deeply committed to children’s literacy.  Studies have shown that children who are not reading at grade level by third grade will experience significant difficulties throughout their lives. Today’s students will be tomorrow’s business and government leaders, employees and customers.

little-reader-iconCheck back each month for new Little Reader picks and follow @UGIReads on Twitter for more book selections, author quotes, and tips and tricks to help your own little reader. Have a suggestion for a Little Reader Pick? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy Reading!

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February Featured Community Organization: American Heart Association

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American Heart Association

Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the world? Each year more than 786,000 Americans are lost to heart disease and stroke. These diseases can be prevented by maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle and understanding the risk factors and warning signs.

To encourage and celebrate those who have made the commitment to become more heart healthy in 2017, UGI has chosen American Heart Association as our Featured Community Organization for the month of February.

Founded in 1924, American Heart Association is dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. By funding more than $3.8 billion in innovative research and fighting for stronger public health polices, the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization provides Americans with the tools and information they need to stay heart healthy at every age. Visit www.heart.org to access these life-saving resources.

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UGI employees display their support for “Go Red for Women” in February.

 

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UGI’s Customer Care Representatives are proud to “Go Red” this February!

February also marks American Heart Month, which includes the nationwide “Go Red for Women” movement established by the American Heart Association in partnership with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to raise awareness of the issues of women and heart disease. Visit www.goredforwomen.org to learn more and join the effort.

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UGI Electric Customers: Win a Home Energy Assessment!

Engineer that calculates the energy efficiency of a house

Win a Home Energy Assessment – a $500 value!

UGI Electric customers, are you ready to start saving energy and money with a home energy assessment from UGI?

Throughout the month of February, UGI Electric customers can enter to win a Home Energy prize pack—includes UGI Home Energy Assessment, $100 Lowe’s gift card, and 3 additional LED light bulbs.

Grand Prize 

  • UGI Home Energy Assessment
  • $100 Lowe’s Gift Card
  • 3 additional LED light bulbs

Second Prize

  • UGI Home Energy Assessment
  • $75 Lowe’s Gift Card

Third Prize

  • UGI Home Energy Assessment
  • $50 Lowe’s Gift Card

To enter, post a comment or photo on UGI’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/UGIUtilities) about how you plan to save energy in your home throughout the spring and summer months. Want an additional entry? Share UGI’s weekly energy tips on Facebook and receive an additional contest entry. Energy tips are posted each Monday and Wednesday mornings. Winners will be randomly selected and notified on Friday, March 3, 2017.

Don’t wait, visit us today at www.ugi.com/savesmart for energy saving tips for your whole home.

Participation in this contest is limited to UGI Electric residential customers. The contest will run from February 1 through February 28, 2017. Please allow up to 15 business days to receive your prize.

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UGI Employees Volunteer with Red Cross During MLK Day of Service

On January 16, UGI employees joined forces with the American Red Cross and local fire departments throughout UGI’s North and East regions to install free smoke alarms in high-risk homes as a part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

Every day, the Red Cross responds to an average of seven deadly home fires in the United States. To help reduce the number of preventable home fire deaths, the Red Cross launched their Home Fire Campaign. The Campaign addresses common causes of residential fires and helps families and individuals prevent and prepare for these events. Home fires impact more people across the county each year than all other natural disasters combined, and the Red Cross program will include more than 3,000 home visits to install smoke alarms and replace batteries, complete home safety checklists and help families develop an escape plan.

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UGI’s Bob Krieger, VP Operations; Jeanie Smock, Operations Coordinator; and Thea Phalon, Community Relations Manager-East Region are ready to visit homes in Wilson Bourough.

In UGI’s East region, employees from our Reading and Stone Pointe offices, along with volunteers from Alvernia University and Exeter Fire Department, partnered with the American Red Cross Tri-County Chapter to install more than 160 smoke alarms in Birdsboro and Mt. Penn homes. Volunteers also provided community members with information about fire safety and additional local hazards as well as how to create and practice a home fire escape plan. A second group of UGI East region employees canvased neighborhoods in Wilson Borough, Northampton County.

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UGI’s Bob Kreiger installs a new smoke alarm with assistance from Jeanie Smock.

Throughout neighborhoods in Wilkes-Barre, a team of UGI employees from the North region aided the American Red Cross Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter in their effort to install more than 650 smoke alarms across Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties.

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UGI’s volunteer team in Wilkes-Barre included Ann Blackiewicz, Community Relations Manager-North Region; Taryn Lada, Stores Coordinator; Dave Baker, Meter Tester; Kevin Hoban, Customer Care Rep; Sue Borum Customer Care Rep; and Dani Bartle, Customer Care Rep.

Did you see us in your community? Let us know in the comments below.

UGI has been a long standing supporter of the American Red Cross and the work they do for our communities throughout Pennsylvania. To learn more about UGI’s work with the American Red Cross and other organizations across our service territory, visit us online at www.ugi.com/community.

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What To Do If You Smell Gas

safety-tipsThis winter season, UGI reminds customers that, as with any energy source, it is important to be aware of telltale signs that natural gas is present where it shouldn’t be – and what to do about it.

Mercaptan, a chemical that smells much like rotten eggs, is added to naturally odorless natural gas so it can be detected.

 

WHAT TO DO if you smell gas:

  • Immediately leave the building or area where you smell gas; take everyone and pets with you.
  • Leave the door open, if possible, and go to a safe location where you can no longer smell gas.
  • Call UGI’s gas emergency line – (800) 276-2722 – or 911 from a safe location, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if you smell natural gas indoors, outdoors or near a gas meter.

DO NOT:

  • DO NOT use phones, computers or other electrical appliances if a smell of gas is present.
  • DO NOT touch electrical outlets, switches or doorbells.
  • DO NOT smoke, use a lighter, matches or other open flame.
  • DO NOT operate vehicles or powered equipment where leaking gas may be present.
  • DO NOT try to re-light a pilot light.
  • DO NOT email UGI or post emergency notifications on our social media if you smell natural gas or suspect a natural gas leak. CALL UGI or call 911.
  • DO NOT re-enter the building until it has been inspected by a UGI technician.

Remember, there is no charge to you for UGI to respond to and investigate a natural gas odor, day or night. For more natural gas safety tips, visit www.ugi.com/safety.

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Win a Warm and Cozy Prize Pack from UGI

Spring is still two months away and Punxsutawney Phil is burrowed safe away for the season. With snow and ice still in the forecast, UGI wants to keep you warm and cozy this January with one of our Warm and Cozy prize pack.

All this week and next, we’re inviting you to share your warm and cozy wishes for the new year on Facebook and be entered to win one of our awesome prize packs.

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Prize pack includes: UGI Sherpa blanket, two UGI mugs, and a box of hot chocolate

To enter, post a comment, photo, or message to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/UGIUtilities) sharing your warmest wishes for 2017.

One winner will be randomly selected and notified on Friday, January 20 and Friday, January 27, 2017. Each post counts as one entry and participants are eligible to make up to three comments per week.

 

This contest is limited to Facebook. Participants are allowed up to 3 entries per week. Contest runs from January 17 – 27, 2017. Winners will be randomly selected and notified at the end of each contest week. Please allow up to 15 business days to receive your prize.  

 

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