The Williamsport UGI Penn Natural Gas office is a natural gas provider that supplies natural gas to Lycoming, Snyder and Union counties, as well as the Lock Haven area, according to David Columbine, UGI new business representative.
Aside from working with a company that supplies the gas, Columbine meets with owners, architects and engineers for many new construction projects to help with gas needs, according to Columbine.
A home with natural gas appliances emits about 45 percent less carbon emissions than an all-electric home and 30 percent less than a home heated with oil, according to the gas business.
SHAWNA TURNER/ Sun-Gazette
The local facility employs about 35 people locally with low turnover rates and dedicated
personell that have been employed for a nember of years.
Natural gas is a clean burning fuel. By using a clean fuel, green-house emissions may be reduced, according Columbine.
Unlike other fuels, the byproduct of natural gas - carbon monoxide and water vapor - is, for the most part a clean exhaust.
When looking for the best fuel options, people need to evaluate natural gas and the alternatives, considering the first time investment. Locally people may look at each alternative and see what the investment costs are versus the return, according to Columbine.
When looking at the whole picture, natural gas may be cheaper, more efficient and a cleaner burning fuel, lessening the amount of the carbon footprint, which is becoming a major topic environmentally, according to Columbine.
Natural gas is also a domestic product.
Rates tend to be lower than oil and are competitively lower than electricity prices, according to Columbine.
The company is undergoing negotiations to partner with a number of the Marcellus Shale companies that have come to the area, Columbine said.
"I think that there is a possibility that their thinking of maybe trying to purchase from these suppliers. (If this is done,) we could probably keep the price of gas low, hopefully not looking at increases in gas rates," Columbine said.
In an effort to keep the rates low, the company will coordinate work with some of the city and state's paving improvement projects, to minimize restoration charges, according to Columbine.
Safety is another key issue that has improved since UGI took over locally about two to three years ago.
"Safety is the number one priority for UGI, especially with the operations crews that are working out in excavations, safety with material to hard hats and procedures. Materials that they use (need to be) up to current standards and exceed standards," Columbine said.
The local 7,000 to 8,000 square foot facility employs about 35 people locally in positions such as office work, service department and operators, according to Columbine.
Turnover is low, many of the employees being with the company a number of years, according to Columbine.
Customer satisfaction is very important to UGI.
"The one thing that drives me personally is we want to get our customers taken care of as soon as possible. There are some projects that take longer because they are more involved, but I think our main goal is to have it taken care of hopefully in a timely manner," Columbine said.