LDC

LDCs Continue To Upgrade The Nations Gas Distribution Network

The LDC remains the backbone of the nation’s natural gas distribution network. Natural gas utilities serve more than 71 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across the nation that is delivered through a 2.4-million-mile underground delivery system with an outstanding safety record.

Low Natural Gas Prices Create Jobs, Spur Economic Growth Across Country

The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 71 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 92% – more than 65 million customers – receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets almost one-fourth of the United States' energy needs.

Pipeline & Gas Journals 33rd Annual 500 Report

<em>Pipeline & Gas Journal</em>’s 33rd Annual 500 Report offers the industry’s most comprehensive statistical review of U.S. energy pipeline systems. As in past years, the report ranks the nation’s top gas distribution, liquids and gas transmission systems. Transmission companies are ranked by mileage, while the rank of each liquids pipeline company is based on yearly crude deliveries. The gas distribution rankings are based on number of customers.

Natural Gas Price Volatility Could Stage Comeback

LDC

As part of a "U.S. Century" fueled by global shale gas dominance, domestic natural gas prices will rise and volatility will return in the next three to five years, participants at the LDC Gas Forum Mid-Continent in Chicago were told on Sept. 10.

Con Edisons Clustering Cleans Air Over Gotham

New York City’s skyline is ever-changing and is now undergoing a change of another kind – a cleaning of the air around it, assisted by a Con Edison program, which helps people switch to cleaner-burning natural gas.

Utility Workers Fast Reaching Retirement Age Now What?

The Midwest Energy Association (MEA) Utility Leadership Academy hosted webinars on talent management and workforce planning earlier this year highlighted by some stunning statistics from Energy Workforce Development on retiring energy workers. The data showed the average utility work is older than 48 – and nearly half are age-eligible for retirement within the next five years.

Markey Reports Gas Pipeline Leaks in MA Led To $150 Million In Lost Gas Per Year

Sen. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts released a report on Aug. 1 on the state of gas distribution pipeline leaks in that state, using it as a case study for the country as a whole. The report, prepared by congressional staff, found that $1.5 billion worth of natural gas was lost in Massachusetts between 2000-2011 and blamed leaky distribution pipelines for most of the loss.

Decentralized Model A Common Sense Approach To Expansion

LDC

For many, the thought of a favorite company moving into expansion mode conjures images of a huge central office, employees who become increasingly narrow in focus and the all-to-common problem of trying to deal with customer service personnel located so far from the problem that they can’t provide much assistance.

Avista Ready To Ramp Up Infrastructure Replacement Program

Headquartered in Spokane, WA with a service area of more than 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, Avista Utilities is embarking on a 20-year program to systematically replace 714 miles of plastic main piping and install transition tubing at the identified steel tees at a cost of about $10 million a year. The investor-owned utility serves about 323,000 natural gas customers and another 158,000 electric customers.

Stephen Ewing Always Welcomed Challenges

News / LDC

As a fitting testament to Stephen Ewing’s contributions to the energy industry, he was honored by the American Gas Association as its 2012 Distinguished Service Award recipient. At that Boston conference then-AGA Chairman Lawrence Borgard called him “a leader and champion of the natural gas industry.”

California General Plans: What They Mean For Legacy Pipeline Management

Comprehensive land use planning gives local residents and interested stakeholders a chance to influence the management of future, anticipated community growth. But for pipeline owners, this planning process can carry other benefits and risks.

Transportation Management Software Solutions For LDCs

LDC

It is a common misperception that gas industry local distribution companies (LDCs) only deliver to -- and manage contracts and billing accounts for -- residential gas consumers. In fact, many LDCs also have large-scale transportation agreements in place with industrial or commercial consumers.

Industry Leaders Evaluate Gas Utility Trends

With the continued growth of natural gas as a key ingredient in the nation’s fuel mix comes increased focus on operational excellence as federal and state regulators and lawmakers closely monitor utilities to ensure they are not just properly maintaining their vast networks, but also working pro-actively to ensure the public’s well-being.

Training A Measurement Technician

The need for good quality measurement has increased dramatically in recent years. Deregulation of market pricing structures, open access markets, increased exploration and drilling costs, fierce competition and new regulatory requirements have all influenced today’s approach to quality measurement methodologies. In fact, the terminology has evolved from “gas volume measurement” to “total energy measurement.” Today, not only is the volume of gas a consideration, but also the quantity of energy the gas produces. The gas industry has evolved from the MMcf to the MMBtu.

Work Begins On Multi-Million Dollar Improvement Project

TECO Peoples Gas is set to begin an aggressive program to replace all cast-iron and bare steel distribution pipes to improve the safety, integrity and reliability of its system.

Electric Power Industry Stands Ready To Strengthen Regional Electric-Gas Partnerships

LDC

<em>(Editor’s Note: One of the most important energy issues now under discussion involves the ongoing integration of electric generation with natural gas. P&GJ will provide a continuing forum for the dialogue in coming months.) </em>

Utilities Burn 34% More Gas In February Than Year Earlier

LDC

U.S. utilities are burning a record amount of natural gas for generating electricity without triggering a predicted boost to the fuel's price from near 10-year lows. The power companies used 34% more gas in February than a year earlier, Energy Department data show. Southern Co., among the largest U.S. coal plant operators, is on pace to consume more gas than coal in 2012 for the first time in its 100-year history.

Modern Tools Help You Precisely Know Your Field Assets

LDC

Several concurrent forces are at work today at the operational, production and regulatory compliance levels that are creating an urgent need for enhanced tools to help operators meet all of today’s ever-increasing asset management requirements. At the same time, operators are striving to gain improvements in operational efficiency to increase production with fewer staff, and do so in a manner that fully satisfies the regulatory requirements. Fortunately, there are many practical advances in both foundational and emerging technologies that can help operators address all these converging forces.

Editor's Notebook: The Public Question

LDC

There’s an intriguing story in Philadelphia that offers insight into whether cities should own utilities.

Utility Thrives With New Employee Effectiveness Measurement System

LDC

In today’s ever-changing and increasingly competitive energy industry, utilities continue to search for new ways to achieve operational excellence. As part of its ongoing efforts, Union Gas successfully developed a new measure in 2008 called Overall Employee Effectiveness (OEE).

Utilities Gain With Focused Customer Communications

LDC

Today, many utilities are using online tools and social media to connect and share information with their customers. But what about the one, consistent touch point they have every single month - the utility bill? Can utilities use the monthly invoice more effectively to reduce costs or does there need to be a larger communication strategy in effect?

Effective Leak Management In Gas Distribution Utilities

LDC

There is a growing need for availability of accurate data for gas distribution utilities to help devise programs that maintain and operate pipeline assets. For example, distribution integrity management program (DIMP) regulations require gas distribution utilities in the United States to be able to 1) know the risks in their system, 2) identify various threats in the system, and 3) be able to mitigate the same. Having an effective pipeline leak management process along with supporting IT systems will help cater to the regulatory requirements and also maintain a safe and reliable gas distribution system.

NW Natural Ranks Highest In West Among Large Utilities

LDC

Northwest Natural Gas Company earned the highest overall score in the western U.S. among large utilities, according to the 2010 J.D. Power and Associates Gas Utility Residential Customer Study. NW Natural also received the highest score in the nation.

SHRIMP Helps Utilities Create DIMP Plans

In 2005 the American Public Gas Association (APGA) created the APGA Security and Integrity Foundation (SIF) to assist small operators to comply with their security and pipeline safety responsibilities. “Small operators” includes not only natural gas utilities but also master meter systems and propane piping systems that fall under the jurisdiction of pipeline safety rules. Initial efforts focused on training and operator qualification, but in 2006 when Congress mandated that PHMSA issue DIMP rules, the SIF, with support from PHMSA, began developing a model DIMP plan.

Smart Meters Gain Popularity Among Utilities and Consumers

LDC

As the United States continues to examine new ways to conserve energy, especially in light of the tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, smart meters are gaining in popularity as a technology that can help homeowners and enterprises reduce energy consumption. In addition, the technology can greatly increase efficiencies inside the utility by improving meter reading accuracy, reducing operational costs and enhancing customer service – all while reducing service calls and shaving carbon footprints.

Gas Utilities Should Ask A Simple Question: Whats In Your Pipeline?

Alternative sources of methane gas often get overlooked in America’s ongoing quest to relieve its dependence on finite fossil fuels and decrease its greenhouse gas emissions. However, what should not be overlooked is the reality that biogas can be a supplement to natural gas in this country’s natural gas transmission and distribution systems.

Risk-Management Process For Urban Utilities

LDC

The distribution of natural gas in an urban utility has inherent risks. Distribution networks are located underground, out of sight and typically under pavement in close proximity to buildings, residences and subsurface structures.