MERRILLVILLE, Ind., April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI), in collaboration with its nine local utilities, partnered with The Nature Conservancy and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to conserve and protect local fresh water areas with $120,310 in donations.
The partnership is part of the company's Direct e-Bill campaign that encourages its residential and commercial customers to sign up for free paperless billing. During the three-month campaign, each customer who signed up triggered a donation to support local freshwater conservation projects in their state. In total, 18,883 customers signed up during the campaign.
"We're continuing our commitment to environmental stewardship across the company," said NiSource Inc. President and CEO Robert C. Skaggs Jr. "This partnership is a great opportunity for our utility customers to support local freshwater conservation programs and save trees."
Projects vary across each state, but include
- Inoculating more than 15,000 hemlock trees in the Bad Branch Nature Preserve in Kentucky against a deadly exotic insect pest known as the hemlock woolly adelgid (Columbia Gas of Kentucky).
- Reconnecting more than 40 miles of the Mill River in Massachusetts to allow native fish like the river herring to reach their traditional spawning grounds upstream (Columbia Gas of Massachusetts).
- Re-establishing the natural winding course and habitat diversity of the Big Darby Creek State and National Scenic River in central Ohio (Columbia Gas of Ohio).
- Freshwater conservation of the Buffalo Creek Watershed in Washington County, Pennsylvania (Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Maryland).
- Planting 125,000 longleaf pine seedlings in the Big Woods and Piney Grove preserves along the Nottoway River in southeastern Virginia (Columbia Gas of Virginia).
- Freshwater conservation projects at Hoosier Prairie Nature Preserve in northwest Indiana (Northern Indiana Public Service Company – NIPSCO, Northern Indiana Fuel and Light, Kokomo Gas).
In addition to the customer-driven campaign, the NiSource Charitable Foundation contributed $100,000 to The Nature Conservancy to support its ongoing freshwater conservation efforts for a total contribution of $220,310.
During last year's campaign, NiSource local utility customers who converted to Direct e-Bill helped plant more than 190,000 trees in support of The Nature Conservancy's Plant a Billion Trees program.
More than 300,000 NiSource local utility customers are now using paperless billing services, including Direct e-bill. Customers are encouraged to continue to sign up for the free, convenient, paper-saving Direct e-Bill service on their local utility's website.
For every 19,250 paperless bills NiSource companies provides, it saves:
- 1/2 ton of paper
- 8,225 gallons of water
- 970.5 pounds of solid waste
- 30 pounds of air emissions
- 2,529 pounds of greenhouse gases
Additional utility-specific information on this and other programs can be found on the local website.
Editor's Note: Please contact the local utility media contact for specific information about this partnership in your local community.
NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI), based in Merrillville, Ind., is a Fortune 500 company engaged in natural gas transmission, storage and distribution, as well as electric generation, transmission and distribution. NiSource operating companies deliver energy to 3.8 million customers located within the high-demand energy corridor stretching from the Gulf Coast through the Midwest to New England. Information about NiSource and its subsidiaries is available via the Internet at www.nisource.com. NI-F
About The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than one million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy strives to protect and restore the region's exceptional natural places for the benefit of present and future generations. Founded in 1932, the Conservancy has been the leader of conservation in Pennsylvania accounting for nearly 228,000 acres of protected natural lands. Visit the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy on the Web at http://www.paconserve.org/
Registration does not imply endorsement.
SOURCE NiSource Inc.