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Save energy, stay safe this Earth Day and Arbor Day

columbia gasColumbia Gas of Virginia offers these important tips for saving energy and staying safe during this month’s Earth Day and Arbor Day celebrations.

Conserve Energy, Save Money with WarmWise

Looking for ways to save energy this Earth Day? Columbia Gas of Virginia’s energy efficiency program, WarmWise, offers tools and resources that have helped customers save more than $13 million since 2010. Visit our website to see how you can save with WarmWise. Customers can start saving by completing the WarmWise Home Savings Evaluation to receive a personalized report with tips to reduce your energy usage and lower your natural gas bills. Qualifying customers can also receive a free energy-efficiency kit designed to save money, simply for completing the evaluation.

WarmWise offers qualifying customers cash back rebates for making energy-saving upgrades such as insulation, high-efficiency windows, doors, skylights and high-efficiency gas furnaces. Take steps to reduce your energy usage and earn cash back with WarmWise.

Stay Safe by Always Calling 811 Before Digging

Before you plant a tree, start a community garden or perform any excavation activity, stay safe by always calling 811 to have underground utilities marked.

  • Striking a utility can cause personal injury, repair costs, fines and loss of important utility service. That’s why, whether you are planting a tree, installing a deck, digging a garden or working on a large construction site, Virginia law requires everyone to always call 811 at least three working days before starting to dig.
  • When you call 811, utility companies with facilities in the excavation area are notified of your intent to dig. Qualified utility locators are sent to the digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags and color-coded spray paint. Each type of utility has designated marking colors to clearly identify the type of underground facilities. Yellow is the designated color for natural gas, propane and oil pipelines. This is a free service that helps you understand which utility may be in conflict with your Earth Day or Arbor Day digging plans.

Columbia Gas of Virginia reminds any person planning to dig to follow four simple steps and Dig with CARE around underground utilities:

  • Step 1 – Call 811 before you dig – Plan ahead and always call 811 at least three days before digging, regardless of your familiarity with the property. By calling on Monday or Tuesday, it allows for utilities to be marked for the following weekend project.
  • Step 2 – Allow required time for marking – Utility companies have three working days to mark their facilities beginning at 7:00 am on the next working day after calling 811. It does not include weekends or official state or Federal holidays.
  • Step 3 – Respect and protect the marks – Do not cover up or destroy the utility markings as they indicate the approximate location of underground utilities. Contact the utility if marks are destroyed.
  • Step 4 – Excavate carefully – Do not dig with mechanized equipment within 24 inches of either side of the utility markings. Instead, use hand tools, such as a shovel. Once the utility line has been exposed, protect the integrity of the facility while digging. Call the utility if you need assistance.

If you detect a strong smell similar to “Rotten Eggs” during excavation or digging, Columbia Gas urges you take the following actions:

  • Immediately leave the area
  • From a safe location away from the odor, call 911 and Columbia Gas of Virginia at 800544-5606
  • Warn others to stay away from the area
  • Leave windows and doors in their current position
  • Avoid open flames or anything that could spark ignition – including cell phones, lights, garage doors or other power equipment.
  • Do not attempt to operate pipeline valves or try to correct the leak
  • When emergency personnel arrive explain the situation to them

augusta free press
augusta free press