David Wooden: Why natural gas matters to our community

Published 9:12 am Tuesday, October 3, 2017

This year, Oct. 1-7 is Public Natural Gas Week, a time when communities such as ours give recognition to one of their most valuable community assets — their publicly-owned natural gas utility.
We are dedicating this week to educating our community about the benefits of having a public natural gas utility in addition to promoting the overall benefits of natural gas for your cooking and heating needs. There are approximately 1,000 public natural gas utilities in the United States. Most are small and comprised of a few hundred to a few thousand customers. Despite their size, they have a huge impact on the communities they serve by providing an irreplaceable function of offering clean, affordable and efficient natural gas.
Our customers recognize the need to access reliable energy and having a local natural gas utility is the best way to do that. There are many other benefits of having a natural gas utility, for example:
• Public natural gas utilities are directly accountable to the citizens they serve, and decisions regarding your energy needs are made locally through citizen participation instead of being made outside of the community.
• Public natural gas utilities are locally controlled operations, which ensures that rates remain competitive and affordable. This is especially reassuring as energy and fuel prices continue to rise and affect your family’s bottom line.
• Lastly, public natural gas can play a valuable role in helping broaden our tax base and helps local dollars stay at home. It also helps improve the local economy which in return creates jobs.
We’re here for our community and invite you to join us from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at the Utility Billing Department located at 1404 E. Forsyth St. for our customer appreciation day. Stop by and enjoy a free hotdog and cold drinks while they last and pick up some information on the benefits of natural gas. Also, remember October is FREE PILOT LIGHT month so be sure and give us a call. If you have any questions regarding your natural gas utility or your upcoming energy needs, please feel free to contact the City of Americus Natural Gas Department at (229) 924-7224.

David Wooden is City of Americus, Natural Gas director.