Piedmont Natural Gas reduces average residential customer’s bill by $71 annually in Tennessee

-Global surges in the cost of natural gas wane.

-Company to decrease rates beginning with customers’ February 2022 bills.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – WEBWIRE



Piedmont Natural Gas has received approval from the Tennessee Public Utility Commission to reduce customer billing rates due to a decrease in the market cost of natural gas compared to last fall. The decrease will be reflected beginning with customers’ February 2022 bills.


This rate reduction translates to a savings of approximately $71 per year for the average residential customer. Because natural gas usage often is higher during the winter months, customers may see as much as a $14 reduction in their February bills and a $10 reduction in March bills.


“We are glad to see a downward trend in the cost of natural gas to lessen the impact on customers this winter,” said Sasha Weintraub, Piedmont Natural Gas senior vice president.


Piedmont requests periodic rate adjustments to reflect fluctuations in the market price of the natural gas it purchases for its customers. Piedmont increased rates in 2021, citing dramatic surges in the global market cost of natural gas. By law, Piedmont does not mark up the cost of natural gas and must pass through the actual cost on a dollar-for-dollar basis to customers.


“We do all we can to ease price impacts on customers,” added Weintraub. “We are continuing to encourage customers to apply for assistance, enroll in our Equal Payment Plan and implement energy-saving tips to avoid bill surprises.”


Level out your bill with the Equal Payment Plan (EPP) program


This free service helps customers manage their budgets by eliminating high winter bills. The EPP program levels out a customer’s natural gas bills, allowing them to pay a predictable, equal monthly amount to help avoid billing surprises. Piedmont determines this payment by adding up a customer’s annual natural gas usage and then dividing it into the same payment amount each month. Learn more here.


Assistance for customers in need


Piedmont is reaching out to customers whose bills are past due through email and/or text with information about utility assistance administered by agencies in their state and local communities. Customers who may not have qualified for assistance in the past may now qualify due to expanded eligibility criteria during the pandemic. Increased levels of assistance also may be available for those who qualified and have already received assistance.


Share the Warmth provides funds to local agencies to assist families with their utility bills, no matter the source of energy they use.


The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) provides winter heating assistance to pay for natural gas, electric and other methods customers use to heat their homes. There are many customers who are eligible but do not apply for this annual federal benefit that can reduce winter heating costs for low-income families. Information on how to apply locally: https://thda.org/business-partners/liheap


Piedmont says anyone in need should apply for this and other newly available programs to see if they qualify. For detailed federal and state-specific information, go to piedmontng.com/WinterBills and click on your state.


Low- to no-cost energy-saving tips and projects


Natural gas use typically spikes in the winter as customers combat low temperatures to stay warm. Below are tips to help manage your energy use when temperatures decline. B-roll of energy-efficiency measures available here.

  • Learn how to reduce energy use. The first step to reduce energy use in your home is to identify and prioritize energy-saving improvements. This can be accomplished through a certified auditor or by performing your own energy audit.
  • Seal air ducts. Make sure the air ducts from your home’s furnace and central air conditioner are properly sealed. Ducts that leak into the attic or crawl space can substantially increase your heating and cooling bills.
  • Seal your home. One of the quickest energy-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal and weatherstrip all seams, cracks and openings to the outside. This can save 10% to 20% on your heating and cooling bills.
  • Install smart thermostats. Installing a “smart” or programmable thermostat will reduce your energy use while you are asleep or away.
  • Manage water heating. Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or consider installing an on-demand or tankless water heater that only heats water when you need it.
  • Consider insulation. Consider whether you need to add insulation to your ceilings, floors and walls. Insulation between the indoors and outdoors reduces energy demand, saving you money while improving the comfort of your home.


Energy-saving tools


Piedmont Natural Gas also offers a variety of energy-saving tools to help customers and our communities identify ways to save money and energy all year long. These programs and tools help customers understand what factors are impacting their natural gas bills and emphasize specific actions they can take to reduce the impacts of high winter usage.­­­­­­­­


Piedmont Natural Gas


Piedmont Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, is an energy services company whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas to more than 1 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The company also supplies natural gas to power plants. Piedmont is routinely recognized by J.D. Power for excellent customer satisfaction, and has been named by Cogent Reports as one of the most trusted utility brands in the U.S.


Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.


Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50% carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.


Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2021 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. 

New rates take effect in January for Duke Energy Kentucky natural gas customers, supporting new natural gas infrastructure



The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) issued an order on Dec. 28 approving new rates for Duke Energy Kentucky’s 102,000 natural gas customers, effective beginning in January.


Average residential usage will result in an approximate 6.27% increase in monthly natural gas bills. The increase will vary depending on the amount of natural gas a customer uses, a customer’s rate class and the market price of natural gas.


The company does not earn any profit from increases in fuel costs.


Duke Energy Kentucky provides gas service to customers in Boone, Campbell, Grant, Kenton, Bracken, Gallatin and Pendleton counties. The PSC’s order does not impact electric rates.


A rate agreement was reached with the consumer advocate, the Kentucky attorney general, in October, and public meetings and hearings were held in October seeking public input.


The PSC’s order largely adopts the settlement with the Kentucky attorney general, recognizing the company’s investments in its natural gas delivery system. The order also approved a mechanism to mitigate future rate adjustments while allowing the company to modernize its natural gas infrastructure under applicable federal regulations.  


“We appreciate the PSC and the Kentucky Attorney General for giving such thoughtful consideration to our customers and to the investments we’ve made to keep our system safe and reliable for decades to come,” said Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “We have managed our costs to operate and maintain the system nearly flat for more than a decade, and we continue to focus on helping our customers better manage their energy usage and reduce their bills.”


In June 2021, Duke Energy sought the public review of its rates to support its ongoing investments in the safety and reliability of the region’s natural gas delivery system. The Order authorizes a $9.17 million increase in base rates, which is about an 8.21% increase over the company’s existing revenue.


The PSC’s rate order and other documents in the case can be viewed here.


Helping customers manage winter bills


Winter brings colder weather, which can bring higher energy bills. Our money-saving programs, tips and guidance can help you control your energy usage and reduce your energy bills.


For more information on how you can better manage your energy bill, click here.


Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky


Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides electric service to about 860,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in a 3,000-square-mile service area, and natural gas service to approximately 538,000 customers in a 2,650 square-mile service area.


Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.


Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.


Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2021 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. 

Natural and Realistic Landscape Photography Celebrated in the First Natural Landscape Photography Awards Which Aims to Rebuild the Public’s Trust in Nature Photography

 Utah, USA-based landscape and nature photographer Eric Bennett wins the 2021 Natural Landscape Photography Awards, the very first photography competition of its kind. The competition was created to promote the very best landscape photography by digital and film photographers who value realism and authenticity in their work. The competition established a set of important rules to avoid the types of deceptive digital editing techniques that have become commonplace in landscape photography. The results are a fantastic showcase of not only the photographers involved, but also the true wonder of the landscape in a way that people can trust.

– 13,368 photographs were submitted to the competition from 47 countries by over 1,300 photographers.

– Eight industry leaders as judges including world famous landscape photographers Joe Cornish from the UK and William Neill from the US.

– Comprehensive, transparent and fair judging process

– Four distinctive categories were established, including Grand Landscape, Intimate & Abstract, Nightscape, and Aerial.

– A unique “Project” section was created for the competition, through which photographers could submit 6-10 images that relate to one another in some way.

– The photographer with the highest ranked set of images was awarded the Photographer of the Year prize.

– Youth Photographers benefitted from entering the competition for free with a separate prize awarded to winning entrants under the age of 18.

– $20,000 in prizes will be distributed to winners of the competition including Canon cameras and printers and Shimoda Designs camera bags.

Winner Eric Bennett had this to say:

“As a photographer who strives to show people the value of wilderness, I have always enjoyed seeing and creating more subtle and personal photographs that portray nature in a realistic manner. As these kinds of images tend to have a quieter impact, they often end up being largely ignored in most photography competitions. This is why I have not entered many competitions in the past, since I felt my artwork would be judged based on factors that I do not value myself. However, I decided to submit my photographs for the Natural Landscape Awards because I liked that the competition was focused on awarding images based on composition, lighting, and originality as opposed to post-processing techniques or outlandish compositing. I had no idea that I would end up receiving the Natural Landscape Photographer of the Year Award, as the intent behind entering was only to show my support. To be given this award by such a prestigious and well-respected group of photographers whom I have always looked up to is a great honor for me. I hope that the Natural Landscape Photography Awards can continue for many years to come, remain true to its values, and inspire other photography competitions to award photographers based on similar principles of artistry.”

For more information and media, please contact us.

Name of Press Contact: Matt Payne

Phone: 970-403-6067

Email: info@naturallandscapeawards.com

Natural Landscape Media

Matt Payne

970-403-6067

https://www.naturallandscapeawards.com/

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