Virginia Beach, Va. – March 18, 2021 – For many, the world changed a year ago in March but for Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) employees, the commitment to deliver clean, safe, reliable and affordable natural gas never stopped. Utility workers are essential personnel and whether in the field or office, Virginia Natural Gas employees continued to fuel customers’ homes and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly 60% of employees across the Southern Company Gas enterprise, including those working at Virginia Natural Gas, have continued to report to work in a variety of first responder and field positions, while the remaining 40% of personnel have continued to work remotely until further notice, including 87% of customer contact center representatives. There were no company workforce reductions due to the pandemic; in fact, VNG hired 27 new employees since the start of the pandemic last year.
“The past year has been unprecedented and challenging, and we never knew the toll it would take on our community,” said Robert Duvall, president of Virginia Natural Gas. “So, it’s fitting that on Natural Gas Utility Workers’ Day we recognize our essential workforce team members who have never stopped working and have been out there every day while meeting new guidelines to continue safely serving our customers.”
Natural Gas Utility Workers’ Day is organized annually by the American Public Gas Association to recognize the employees who work to ensure the essential energy source is distributed safely.
Field employees across all Southern Company Gas local distribution companies, including Virginia Natural Gas, completed more than 1.7 million service and emergency work orders in the past year, some of which required the entry of homes and businesses with customers who were COVID-19 suspected or confirmed. COVID-19 job aids and other supplemental materials, as well as PPE including gloves, face coverings, protective suits and sanitizer, were acquired to keep employees, customers and communities safe.
While Virginia Natural Gas continued to help minimize community health impacts, it also addressed economic hardships in the community by providing more than $300,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts to help address food insecurity, housing and homelessness, and child/family and senior services.
Additional resources extended to customers in need through corporate partnerships included:
“It’s with great pride to be able to say this now, one year from when we first began adapting to the pandemic that we were able to transition to a new work reality for many of us and increased safety protocols for our essential workers,” added Duvall. “We continue to put safety first and keep our customers and community at the center of everything we do during these challenging times.”
For information visit virginianaturalgas.com/together.
Virginia Natural Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Virginia Natural Gas provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable natural gas service to more than 300,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in southeast Virginia. Consistently ranked in the top quartile for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, the company also has been recognized by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Virginia Oil and Gas Association for its safety, innovation, environmental stewardship, community outreach and educational programs, and has been named Local Distribution Company of the year four times since 2015. The company has been ranked by its business customers as one of the most Trusted Business Partners in the utility industry according to Cogent Reports, and as one of the Top Workplaces in Hampton Roads by Inside Business. For more information, visit virginianaturalgas.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is a leading energy company serving 9 million customers through its subsidiaries. The company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric operating companies in three states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America, a leading distributed energy infrastructure company, a fiber optics network and telecommunications services. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices below the national average. For more than a century, we have been building the future of energy and developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, advanced carbon capture technologies, natural gas, renewables, energy efficiency and storage technology. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation and a low-carbon future, Southern Company and its subsidiaries develop the customized energy solutions our customers and communities require to drive growth and prosperity. Our uncompromising values.