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APGA’s  Member   Tour  is back as it is important to APGA to  have small group conversations with our  member s to update them on APGA activities but, more importantly, learn firsthand the challenges they are facing and what APGA can do to help.  This series of virtual events allow APGA staff the opportunity to virtually meet with the folks who work for our  member  utilities and listen to the concerns and daily challenges of our  member  gas utilities to better focus our efforts. At each meeting, APGA staff will spend 90 minutes with attendees to chat about what we are doing for public gas systems and talk about pipeline safety and energy issues at the federal ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, May 28, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, May 22. A 109 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 2,612 Bcf as of Friday, May 22, 2020, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 109 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 778 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 423 Bcf above the five-year average of 2,189 Bcf. At 2,612 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range
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The APGA Research Foundation (RF) recently joined the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) North American Gas Heat Pump Water Heater Partnership (GHP-WHP). The GHP-WHP is sending a clear message about the natural gas distribution industry’s commitment to the commercialization and launch of residential and commercial GHP water heater technologies. The GTI GHP-WHP team consists of gas utilities across North America working in partnership with Rinnai to test product readiness in various climates and housing types with the expectation of bringing a product to market soon. Gas Heat Pump technology is proving to be a very efficient and effective use of natural gas energy ...
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On May 20, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a nomination hearing for Mark Menezes to be Deputy Secretary at the Department of Energy (DOE). In the committee’s first hearing since the coronavirus pandemic emerged, Menezes saw mostly bipartisan support from Senators. Questions for Mr. Menezes included topics on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Renewable Fuel standard, national labs, agency funding, nuclear and renewable energy, cybersecurity, and energy storage. Mr. Menezes currently serves as the Under Secretary for Energy at DOE, being confirmed on a voice vote. Prior to serving at DOE, Menezes held roles at Berkshire Hathaway Energy, ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, May 21, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, May 15. An 81 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 2,503 Bcf as of Friday, May 15, 2020, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 81 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 779 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 407 Bcf above the five-year average of 2,096 Bcf. At 2,503 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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On May 15, APGA filed joint comments on a Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) proposed rule regarding speculative position limits on certain commodities, including natural gas, with the American Public Power Association (APPA) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). APGA, through the joint comments, requested an exemption from this proposed rule for all not-for-profit energy utilities, which includes APGA members. If granted, this exemption would relieve APGA members of certain regulatory burdens and costs resulting from the need to demonstrate that their commodity trading activities fall into CFTC's definition of "bona fide hedging ...
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On May 15, APGA submitted comments weighing in on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) request for recommendations on how to prioritize appliance efficiency rulemakings under the recently finalized Process Rule. APGA's comments reiterate our previous request that DOE finalize its proposed interpretive rule, which would designate separate product classes for certain condensing/non-condensing combustion technology in gas appliances. APGA, through its comments, also notes that the review and rulemaking processes of gas-fired appliances, especially the Furnace Rule, should be done according to the recently updated Process Rule and can only appropriately proceed once ...
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APGA is a proud supporter of the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) and its efforts to promote balanced energy policies around the country. Specifically, this group engages at a state and local level to ensure Americans are not burdened by policies that raise energy prices, many of which are caused by electrification efforts. Given this great focus, APGA coordinated an update from CEA for association members. Via a webinar on May 19, CEA staff shared the latest occurrences in several state sessions regarding responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and any impact on energy policy. They also provided updates on energy legislation that was enacted or introduced before ...
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On May 12, APGA filed a motion to intervene in the challenge of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) updated Process Rule. Several states such as California and Massachusetts, jurisdictions such as Washington, D.C., and public interest groups such as Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club, challenged the updated Process Rule in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last month. APGA was significantly engaged in the rulemaking to update the Process Rule, as it impacts how DOE develops energy conservation standards and test procedures for gas-fired appliances. APGA was supportive of the final updated Process Rule and, therefore, felt it was important to engage ...
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On May 8, APGA and the American Gas Association (AGA) jointly filed an appeal of International Code Council (ICC) actions related to several International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) pro-electrification provisions. APGA, through this appeal, contends that these provisions should have been prevented from moving forward by ICC staff during the code development process because they either raised potential federal preemption concerns or were outside of IECC's "intent" (as defined by the code) and, consequently, should not be included in the next edition of the IECC. APGA members would be directly and materially affected by state or local adoption of the requirements ...
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During the week of April 11, APGA staff recorded a webinar for the LDC Gas Forum-Southeast. This event had originally been scheduled to occur April 6-8 in the Atlanta area. Unfortunately, it had to be cancelled because of safety concerns related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, the planning team for the LDC Gas Forums thought it was important to provide the content, and APGA staff was glad to oblige. In the presentation, how America’s public natural gas utilities are speaking up was detailed, specifically regarding legislation, regulation, and the media. Examples discussed were states passing balanced energy legislation in Tennessee and Arizona, as ...
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Public natural gas systems have one of the best employee safety records over many industries, in no small part due to ongoing emphasis on employee safety among APGA member systems. Celebrate and gain recognition for your system’s dedication to employee safety by applying for the 2020 APGA Safety Management Excellence Award! APGA is accepting submissions through June 19 at www.surveymonkey.com/r/2020ManagementExcellence . This award is given to an APGA member system that consistently operates at the highest levels, clearly establishing the system as an achiever of excellence in the area of safety management. APGA has greatly simplified the application process ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, May 14, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, May 8. A 103 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 2,422 Bcf as of Friday, May 8, 2020, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 103 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 799 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 413 Bcf above the five-year average of 2,009 Bcf. At 2,422 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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APGA member systems take great pride in their ability to deliver natural gas safely and efficiently to over 6 million customers in 38 states. APGA is pleased to hold the System Operational Achievement Recognition (SOAR) program. One aspect of that program is the ability to recognize those public natural gas systems that have achieved excellence in the operation of their natural gas utility. SOAR honors natural gas distribution utilities that demonstrate commitment to excellence in four areas: system integrity; system improvement; employee safety; and, workforce development. The 2020 application included new questions specific to Pipeline Safety Management Systems. ...
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On May 1, APGA submitted comments to the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS), which is developing a new Green-e standard and certification program for renewable natural gas (RNG). This work is precedential, so it is valuable for APGA to engage, especially given the association’s recent efforts related to RNG, like the policy resolution. As well, APGA members are exploring ways to inject RNG into their systems, and a few already are. There is also the opportunity for this standard and certification program to make more stakeholders in the end use energy market consider RNG. More opportunities to provide feedback on the Green-e standard and certification program ...
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On April 30, APGA hosted a webinar to educate members on cybersecurity threats. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis is being used as an opportune time for hackers. Statistics show that there has been a more than 400 percent spike in cyber “attacks” targeting energy utilities during the last 45 days. The webinar described the current situation, as well as highlighted hacking details associated with this new threat landscape. The presenters also provided pragmatic guidance to assist in protecting public natural gas utilities. Finally, APGA members that participated were able to ask questions of the speakers to help them build resilience within their utilities. ...
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The APGA Safety Contest is an annual award given out to APGA public natural gas system members for their dedication to keeping their employees safe every day on every job. All APGA public gas system members are eligible to enter this contest. Public gas systems are divided into five groups based on annual number of man-hours worked: • Group A = 8,000 or less man-hours • Group B = 8,001 to 18,000 man-hours • Group C = 18,001 to 38,000 man-hours • Group D = 38,001 to 70,000 man-hours • Group E = 70,001 or more man-hours The winner of each group will be calculated based on total man-hours worked and lost or restricted hours due to injury or illness from January ...
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On May 1, APGA joined over 50 organizations and businesses by signing on to letters sent to congressional leadership, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the National Security Advisor, requesting that federal coronavirus response funding be targeted to assist state and local building and fire prevention departments in continuing their essential functions through virtual solutions. These entities - including that of code officials who work with APGA members regularly – are considered essential by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and states across the country. However, they face the challenge of employees working remotely without ...
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On May 1, APGA sent a letter to the Department of Energy (DOE) formally requesting an additional 60 days in the comment period for the agency’s request for information (RFI) pertaining to test procedures for consumer water heaters and residential-duty commercial water heaters. The current comment period deadline is June 1. Similarly, on May 6, APGA sent a letter to DOE requesting that the comment period for the RFI pertaining to test procedures for commercial warm air furnaces also be extended by an additional 60 days. The current comment period deadline is June 4. The RFIs for both sets of test procedures pose a number of complex questions, ranging from current ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, May 7, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, May 1. A 109 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 2,319 Bcf as of Friday, May 1, 2020, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 109 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 796 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 395 Bcf above the five-year average of 1,924 Bcf. At 2,319 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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