Piedmont Natural Gas Announces Progress On Sustainability Initiatives

Third Biennial Report Details Environmental, Social, Economic Stewardship

Aug 11, 2015, 08:30 ET from Piedmont Natural Gas

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) today announced the publication of its 2015 Sustainability Report, a comprehensive look at the company's efforts to integrate environmental, social and economic sustainability into all aspects of its business operations.

The report is the third in a series published every two years since 2011. This year's report details the many ways Piedmont reduced its own carbon footprint over the past two years – including converting company cars and trucks to environmentally responsible natural gas vehicles and making facilities more energy-efficient – and helped energy consumers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee do the same by converting to natural gas for residential, commercial and industrial uses as well as for power generation.

"Piedmont Natural Gas is proud of the significant environmental benefits resulting from the expanded use of natural gas, but that's just part of our sustainability story," said Thomas E. Skains, Chairman, President and CEO of Piedmont Natural Gas. "The 2015 Sustainability Report also shows how Piedmont is working to achieve social and economic sustainability by partnering with the communities we serve to address critical needs, using our purchasing power to support small and minority-owned businesses, and investing in new sources of natural gas that will fuel much-needed economic development and keep energy prices lower and more stable for all of us."

The "Piedmont Natural Gas Sustainability Top 10" list (see below) offers a quick glimpse at all of the ways Piedmont and its customers are reaping the environmental and economic advantages of abundant, low-cost domestically produced natural gas. The list also includes significant facts and figures about Piedmont's investment in the safety and reliability of its natural gas distribution system and all of the ways Piedmont is incorporating social and economic sustainability into the business decisions it makes every day.

In keeping with Piedmont's commitment to environmentally sustainable business practices, the full 2015 Sustainability Report is available only online. To view the report, please visit sustainability.piedmontng.com

Piedmont Natural Gas Sustainability Top 10 Highlights from the 2015 Sustainability Report

  1. Strength in Diversity: Over the past two years, Piedmont Natural Gas has increased spending with small, minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses by 53 percent and spent $132 million with 262 diverse suppliers in 2014.
  2. Going Green with NGVs: Piedmont Natural Gas is close to reaching a goal set two years ago to convert 30 percent of its own fleet to natural gas vehicles (NGVs) powered by compressed natural gas (CNG). As of 2014, the company has converted about 300 vehicles or 28 percent of the fleet to NGVs, displacing the equivalent of 200,000 gallons of gasoline. Piedmont is also helping commercial and private NGV owners go green with its network of public CNG refueling stations, including its 10th station scheduled to open in September in Anderson, S.C.
  3. Back and Stronger than Ever: Piedmont Natural Gas added 16,251 new customers in 2014 – the strongest growth since 2008 and a 14 percent increase from 2013.
  4. The Switch is On: More than 7,000 Piedmont customers switched to natural gas from other sources of energy over the past two years to take advantage of energy cost savings and environmental benefits. Conversions in 2014 alone were up 15 percent from the year before.
  5. More Money in Your Pocket: Natural gas continues to be the most affordable energy choice for consumers, with potential savings of nearly $700 over alternative sources of energy for heating, water heating, clothes drying and cooking.
  6. Building Strong Communities: Piedmont Natural Gas is committed to supporting initiatives and programs that promote health, wellness and economic development and growth in the communities it serves. In 2013 and 2014, Piedmont Natural Gas, along with employees, customers and the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation, gave a total of $6.4 million to community enrichment, environmental and energy assistance programs.
  7. Investing in Safety and Growth: Safety is Piedmont's No. 1 priority, and the company's investment in pipeline integrity, safety and expansion reflects the commitment to the safety of customers, communities and employees. Over the past two years, Piedmont spent nearly $1.1 billion to ensure the continued safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to its growing customer base.
  8. Customers Like What They See: Customer service is a top priority for Piedmont – second only to safety – and customers are taking note. Independent surveys ranked Piedmont's Customer Contact Center No. 2 in the nation based on excellent customer service and Piedmont's field customer service team ranked No. 3 in the nation in customer satisfaction in 2014.
  9. Sustainable Investing: Piedmont Natural Gas, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PNY, increased its dividend in 2014 for the 36th consecutive year – and in March extended the streak to 37. On Wall Street, Piedmont is known as a "Dividend Champion."
  10. Dialing Up Safety: Accidents involving homeowners and contractors digging into natural gas pipelines are the leading cause of damage to Piedmont's distribution system. But efforts to encourage people to call the free 811 service to have underground utilities located and marked before they dig are working: In North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, calls to 811 are up an average of nearly 13 percent since 2012 and damage to pipelines from people who don't call has declined. Piedmont's customers and communities are safer as a result.

About Piedmont Natural Gas Piedmont Natural Gas is an energy services company primarily engaged in the distribution of natural gas to more than 1 million residential, commercial, industrial and power generation utility customers in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, including customers served by municipalities who are wholesale customers. Our subsidiaries are invested in joint venture, energy-related businesses, including unregulated retail natural gas marketing, and regulated interstate natural gas transportation and storage, and regulated intrastate natural gas transportation businesses. More information about Piedmont Natural Gas is available on the Internet at www.piedmontng.com.

SOURCE Piedmont Natural Gas