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UGI Connection

a blog from UGI Utilities, Inc.

9 Tips to Be Safe and “Winter Wise” During Cold Weather

img 3369 32622423104 o 720x480 dbd3f21c c1c5 4dfa 9104 f93464952401 300x200 - 9 Tips to Be Safe and "Winter Wise" During Cold Weather As the cold weather continues and more snow blankets our region, UGI encourages our customers and residents of the communities we serve to follow these tips to stay warm and help ensure safe and reliable energy service:

  • UGI adds an odorant, which smells like rotten eggs, to natural gas to help you detect a gas leak. If you smell an odor of rotten eggs, it’s important to leave the building immediately. Leave the door open, and once clear of the area call UGI from your cell phone or neighbor’s home. UGI’s emergency response number is 1-800-276-2722 and UGI emergency responders are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Check your outdoor gas meter, gas piping and appliance vents regularly to ensure they are clear of snow and ice. Avoid using a shovel, plow or snow blower near gas equipment. Never use salt, hot water or ice melting chemicals to remove snow or ice from your meter or associated pipes. Repair leaky downspouts to prevent water from dripping on your gas meter or vents. If your meter is near a sidewalk or driveway, make sure it is visible to snowplow drivers.
  • bigstock Modern Programming Thermostat 81429368 720x480 72 RGB 1 300x200 - 9 Tips to Be Safe and "Winter Wise" During Cold WeatherIn extreme cold weather, your heating unit may have difficulty maintaining the temperature set on your thermostat based on the system capacity and other factors. However, if your equipment is not functioning properly, consider contacting your heating contractor.
  • Remember that an electric power outage will affect blowers and newer natural-gas fired heaters with electronic ignitions. If your gas heater does not relight when the power returns, turn the unit off for a moment, then back on. If it still does not light, call a qualified HVAC professional for service.
  • Never use a generator, grill, portable/camping stove or other fossil fuel burning device inside a home, garage or other enclosed area. Never heat a home with an oven if your electricity goes out.
  • IMG 0780 720x480 ff5e7da8 f85b 4acd 97cd 0a5c1d9bd213 300x200 - 9 Tips to Be Safe and "Winter Wise" During Cold WeatherIf you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to prevent sparks and rolling logs from contacting any room furnishings.
  • Always turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed. Using secondary heating sources, such as space heaters, can increase the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.

For more information on these and other safety-related topics, visit us online at www.ugi.com/safety.

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Customer Assistance Programs Available to UGI Customers

There’s no mistaking it: Winter is here, and it’s sticking around. Along with cold temperatures, winter also brings higher home energy bills. Do you need assistance in paying your energy bills? We’re here to help! The following programs are available to assist eligible customers in paying their utility bills:

CAP: UGI’s Customer Assistance Program (CAP) offers qualified, income-eligible customers a more manageable monthly energy bill based on gross income, household size and average bill. UGI partners with several agencies to provide this useful program to its customers.

LIURP: The LIURP, Low Income Usage Reduction Program or Weatherization, offers free energy conservation measures to high usage, low income households to help make energy bills more affordable.

Operation Share Fuel Fund: The Operation Share Energy Fund provides energy assistance grants to qualified customers who experience difficulty paying their heating bills. This community-based nonprofit program is funded by voluntary donations from UGI employees, UGI customers and concerned citizens. In addition, UGI provides a corporate donation to help fund the program.

LIHEAP – Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps income-eligible energy consumers pay their heating bills through energy assistance grants. If you are eligible to receive a LIHEAP cash grant, a payment will be sent directly to UGI and it will be credited to your natural gas account. Additional money is available through LIHEAP crisis grants, which are given to those in emergency situations and are in danger of losing their heat.

CARES: Customer Assistance and Referral Evaluation Services (CARES) can provide referrals to other helpful programs in your community. These programs can include the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), budget counseling, State Weatherization or Office of Aging programs.

For more information about any of these customer assistance programs, call 1-800-UGI-WARM (800-844-9276) or visit www.ugi.com/customerassistance.

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Students Demonstrate Scientific Method at UGI-Sponsored Science Fair

Students in grades 4th-8th showcased their scientific findings with displays featuring a range of disciplines including magnetism, food science, physics, and earth science at the 3rd annual Children’s Museum Science Fair.

20180118 184626 300x169 - Students Demonstrate Scientific Method at UGI-Sponsored Science Fair

Held on January 18th at the Children’s Museum in Bloomsburg, 35 students from the central Pennsylvania region competed at this UGI-sponsored event. Displays included plants and the effects of gravity, chemical reactions in food, and what makes slime so slimey.

20180118 181420 e1516745307725 300x169 - Students Demonstrate Scientific Method at UGI-Sponsored Science Fair

“I was honored to participate as a judge for the 3rd Annual Children’s Museum Science Fair. It was inspiring to see the student’s creativity and enthusiasm regarding their scientific findings,” said Ann Blaskiewicz, UGI Community Relations Manager-North Region and judge for the 6th grade experiments at this year’s Science Fair.

20180118 183358 e1516745240459 300x169 - Students Demonstrate Scientific Method at UGI-Sponsored Science Fair

The students clearly demonstrated the relevance of STEM with their experiments,” said Blaskiewicz. UGI supports many educational related initiatives and UGI’s participation in this event reinforced the Company’s committment to education and a focus on STEM- or STEAM-related programs.

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Each year, UGI proudly donates more than $1 million toward education initiatives focused on improved early childhood literacy, expanded access to STEM education programs, and technical career training and preparation initiatives. To learn more about UGI’s commitment to education, click here.

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Energy Efficiency Program Expansion Offers UGI-PNG Customers Options to “Save Smart”

Saving energy and money on utility bills just got a whole lot easier this year for customers in UGI’s Penn Natural Gas (PNG) service region. With the expansion of  UGI’s Save Smart Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program, more customers than ever can now take advantage of these energy saving programs to reduce their utility costs and energy consumption.

save smart logo

The program provides financial incentives, including several rebate options for customers who upgrade heating systems or appliances to more efficient equipment, that encourage customers to reduce their energy consumption and costs.

Whether you’re remodeling your home or are ready to make the switch to natural gas for your home heating and appliances, UGI’s Save Smart Program allows customers to save big all year long!

Use the chart below to see how much you could save with available residential equipment rebates:

Residential Equpment Rebates 300x154 - Energy Efficiency Program Expansion Offers UGI-PNG Customers Options to "Save Smart"

So, “think energy” and get started today! Visit www.ugi.com/savesmart to start saving energy and money with UGI’s Save Smart Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program.

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9 Tips to Help You Operate Your Natural Gas & Electric Appliances Safely this Winter

fireplaceBrrrrr, it’s certainly cold out there and more snow and ice is on the way for Pennsylvania. To stay warm in these frigid temperatures, many of us turn to electric and natural gas heaters, hot showers, and cozy fireplaces. While it may feel good to warm up under a hot shower or next to a cozy fire, it’s important to remember improper use of electric and natural gas appliances can lead to dangerous situations. UGI urges residents to use the following tips to stay safe and warm this winter:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding care and operation for all natural gas and electric appliances.
  • Repairs and installations are for experts – have trained people do the work.
  • A gas flame should be primarily blue. If it is yellow or orange, turn off the equipment and call for service (gas fireplaces are an exception).
  • newconstructionfurnaceandwaterheater ESC 1 300x201 - 9 Tips to Help You Operate Your Natural Gas & Electric Appliances Safely this WinterAlways make sure there is no gas buildup around a pilot or burner before you relight it.
  • Keep the flues of your gas appliances clean and properly vented. If you installed a gas conversion burner in the past year, be alert for soot and buildup from previous fuel. A buildup could block the flue and chimney base.
  • Teach children to never turn on or light gas appliances.
  • Keep trash and other flammable materials away from natural gas appliances.
  • Turn your water heater from 150 to 120 degrees – not only is this safe, but it will help you save money on your utility bill.
  • If your appliances are more than 20 years old, have the appliance connectors checker by a heating and plumbing professional.

For more information about natural gas appliances and safety for all seasons, visit us online at www.ugi.com/safety.

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January Little Reader Pick

Celebrate the new year and teach your child about new cultures with Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas. Written by Gail Piernas-Davenport and illustrated by Marion Eldridge, this fun and engaging tale highlights different New Year celebrations from cultures around the world.

Shante Keys and the New Years Peas

From the publisher: Shanté Keys loves New Year’s Day! But while Grandma fixed chitlins, baked ham, greens, and cornbread, she forgot the black-eyed peas! Oh no—it’ll be bad luck without them! So Shanté sets out to borrow some from the neighbors. Does Miss Lee have peas? What about Mr. MacGhee, or Shanté’s good friend Hari? None of them do—but, as Shanté discovers, they have fun foods and traditions for their New Year’s! Now, if only Shanté can find good-luck peas in time for dinner!

Don’t wait! Pick up a copy of Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas for your little reader at your local library.

little-reader-icon

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.

Check back each month for new Little Reader picks and follow @ugi_utilities 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.

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Winter is Here: Stay Safe in Extreme Cold Weather

Cold weather has blanketed many parts of the UGI service territory and will continue throughout the coming months. UGI encourages residents and community members to be “winter wise” during severe cold weather. Use the following tips to help ensure the safe and reliable use of home heating equipment:

  • In extreme cold weather, your heating unit may have difficulty maintaining the temperature set on your thermostat based on the system capacity and other factors. However, if your equipment is not functioning properly, you may need to contact your heating contractor.
  • On days when snow or ice fall, clear any accumulation from the outside vents of your furnace or other natural gas appliances.  This allows air the flow necessary for safe operation. Blocked vents can lead to a dangerous build-up of carbon monoxide.
  • If the snow is deep, you should clear the area around the gas meter, providing a path for UGI personnel who may require access.  Please work carefully around your gas meter.  Keep snow blowers and plows away from the gas meter.
  • Remember that an electric power outage will affect blowers and newer heaters with electronic ignitions.  If your gas heater does not relight when the power returns, turn the unit off for a moment, then back on.  If it still does not light, call a heating professional for service.
  • Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and the batteries powering them are fresh.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can result from a malfunctioning heating unit or another fuel-burning appliance, as well as from a blocked chimney. CO poisoning is more common during cold weather, when heating units are functioning and home windows and doors are closed tightly. CO is a colorless, odorless, gas. Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness. Individuals who believe they may be experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning should immediately seek fresh air and prompt medical attention.
  • Never use a generator, grill, portable/camping stove or other fossil fuel burning device inside a home, garage of other enclosed area. Never heat a home with an oven if your electricity goes out.
  • Use extra caution when using space heaters. Place a space heater on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable (such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs) at least three feet away from the unit.
  • If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
  • Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed. Using secondary heating sources, such as space heaters, can increase the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Be aware that UGI adds an odorant, which smells like rotten eggs, to natural gas to help you detect a gas leak.  The odorant is added in small concentrations and is harmless.  If you smell an odor of rotten eggs, leave the building immediately, taking everyone with you. Do not use the phone, light a match, or switch anything on or off.  Leave the door open, and once clear of the area call UGI from your cell phone or neighbor’s home. UGI’s emergency response number is 1-800-276-2722.  UGI will send a service technician to investigate the odor immediately.  UGI emergency responders are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.  Your safety is always our top priority.

For more information and safety tips, visit us online at www.ugi.com/safety.

 

 

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January Featured Community Organization: Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters LogoUGI’s community efforts aim to improve educational opportunities and encourage the development of the many children throughout the communities we serve. UGI is pleased to support and partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters, our Featured Community Organization for January, in recognition of National Mentoring Month.

Bowl For Kids Sake 720x405 72 RGB 300x169 - January Featured Community Organization: Big Brothers Big Sisters

UGI’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake bowling team in Wilkes-Barre.

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children with a strong, enduring, one-on-one relationship to help them achieve success in life and change their lives for the better. Through meaningful mentoring between adult volunteers and children, Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with supportive relationships to build confidence and better relationships, avoid risky behaviors, and achieve educational success.

COUL Night at Reading BBBS Chapter

UGI volunteers participate in COUL Night in Reading.

Throughout the year, UGI employees donate their time and energy to Big Brothers Big Sisters events and causes. During Big Brothers Big Sisters’ signature fundraiser, Bowl For Kids’ Sake, UGI teams came together to raise money for the organization while enjoying a night out in the community. In the Reading area, UGI volunteers hosted a COUL (Club of Unmatched Littles) Night which included dinner and working on a tie-dye t-shirt activity. UGI is proud to participate in these activities, as well as the many other events Big Brothers Big Sisters hosts in our service territories.

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters and to locate a chapter in your area, visit www.bbbs.org.

 

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December Little Reader Pick: The First Day of Winter

dec little reader 300x297 - December Little Reader Pick: The First Day of WinterWinter has finally arrived, which means snow, hot chocolate, and holiday cheer. So grab your kids and hunker down under a warm blanket as you enjoy UGI’s December Little Reader Pick: The First Day of Winter, written and illustrated by Denise Fleming.

This is a light-hearted tale about a young boy who receives 10 gifts for the first 10 days of winter, all so he can build the perfect snowman. The beautiful illustrations and fun “sing-song” words will motivate any child to go out and build a snowman.

Little Reader Icon 300x299 - December Little Reader Pick: The First Day of Winter

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.

Check back each month for new Little Reader picks and follow @ugi_utilities 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.

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Stay Safe This Holiday Season: Electrical Safety

christmaskids iStock 000011288792XSmall 1  300x225 - Stay Safe This Holiday Season: Electrical SafetyThe holiday season is here and as we gather together to celebrate this most wonderful time of year, we bring out our most festive lights and extra appliances.

UGI encourages customers and community residents to use electricity safely with the following tips:

  • Prevent Christmas tree fires. If you are using a natural tree, make sure it is placed well away from heating sources, and is well watered to avoid dry branches catching fire from the heat of bulbs. If you use an artificial tree, make sure it is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
  • Properly use outdoor electric extension cords. If using outdoor lights around your home, make sure you use outdoor-rated extension cords and timers. Follow the directions on cord labels regarding connecting light strings and extension cords to avoid overloading electrical circuits. If a cord feels hot to the touch, it is overloaded and may cause an electrical fire. Additionally, make sure the cords are located out of the way to avoid a tripping hazard.
  • iStock 000018704992XSmall 300x199 - Stay Safe This Holiday Season: Electrical SafetyCheck electric cords for fraying or damage and replace them if you find potential problems.
  • Install safety plugs and outlet covers if you have children in your home.
  • If you experience an electrical fire, unplug it without touching the appliance or turn off the electrical supply. Use a Class C-rated fire extinguisher, if available. If not, throw baking soda on the fire — never water. If necessary, call your fire department.
  • Use extra caution when using space heaters. Always place a space heater on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable (such as paper, clothing, bedding curtains, or upholstered furniture) at least three feet away from the unit. Turn off space heaters before leaving the room.

Winter weather is settling in early for many areas throughout the UGI service territory. UGI urges customers to be prepared for unexpected power outages by taking the following steps:

  • Clear deep snow from collecting around electric meters. Clearing snow from the area around your electric meters provides a path for UGI personnel who may require access. When removing accumulated snow or ice, please work carefully.
  • Significant ice accumulation or high winds can also cause downed electric wires and power outages. UGI Electric customers who experience an outage should contact UGI at 800-276-2722. If you see a downed electric wire, assume it is energized and DO NOT TOUCH IT. Contact UGI at 800-276-2722 to report the downed wire.94989059 300x200 - Stay Safe This Holiday Season: Electrical Safety
  • If you depend on electric-powered medical equipment for life-support, we recommend that you purchase a back-up power supply or make arrangements to stay with family or friends in the case of an outage.
  • Put together an emergency preparedness kit, including blankets, flashlights, batteries, and bottled water. Click here for a full list of what to include in your emergency preparedness kit.
  • Objects useful in an emergency 24323030 720x586 72 RGB 300x244 - Stay Safe This Holiday Season: Electrical SafetyIf you are a residential customer with special needs and have an emergency, please contact your regional 911 center. Special needs customers calling UGI to report an outage should identify themselves to the customer service representative. UGI can provide information to assist you in connecting to your local 911 center.
  • If you use a generator during an outage, please make sure it is used safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions on proper venting and operation. NEVER OPERATE A BACK-UP GENERATOR IN AN ENCLOSED SPACE.

For additional electrical and winter safety tips, visit us at www.ugi.com/safety. Get real-time outage updates by visiting the UGI Electric Outage Center.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday season!

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