Columbia Gas of Virginia and Richmond ARC Win Inaugural Virginia Energy Efficiency Award, Joined by Governor McAuliffe at Richmond Event

Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Contact: Bob Innes
(804) 768-6410
(804) 512-1425 - cellular
rinnes@nisource.com

Chester, VA - November 30, 2016 – Columbia Gas of Virginia and Richmond ARC earned top honors in the first-ever Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Awards in the Residential category for its WarmWise Web-Based Home Audit Program. The Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC) honored winners in six categories -- drawn from a pool of more than 50 nominations -- at an event in Richmond attended by Governor Terry McAuliffe. The winners showcase how energy efficiency champions across the Commonwealth are helping businesses, schools, government and homeowners save money on energy expenditures while reducing energy consumption -- all while stimulating job growth and our economy.

Columbia Gas of Virginia’s Web-Based Home Audit Program allows residential customers to participate in their own energy analysis and places them in the “driver’s seat” of achieving an energy efficient future. Customers participating in an online home energy audit receive a customized report recommending home improvements that can be implemented to reduce natural gas usage. Additionally, qualifying customers can receive up to two free energy efficiency kits to help get the savings started. The energy efficiency kits contain items such as high efficiency showerheads, faucet aerators, door sweeps and weather stripping.
The Greater Richmond ARC is a key partner for Columbia’s program, providing support packaging and distributing the energy efficiency kits. Richmond ARC is an organization that creates life-fulfilling opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities in the central Virginia area. The partnership between CVA and Richmond ARC started in 2010 and to date more than 25,000 energy efficiency kits have been distributed to CVA customers by the ARC team. Through 2015, CVA’s customers have achieved over $4M in energy savings through the Web-Based Home Audit Program.

“Congratulations to Columbia Gas of Virginia and Richmond ARC. The winning entries are proof that energy efficiency has tremendous potential to drive economic growth, create jobs, shrink utility bills, conserve natural resources and reduce pollution,” said Chelsea Harnish, VAEEC Executive Director. “We are pleased to use these awards to shine a spotlight on innovative approaches, positive impacts in our communities, unique partnerships and replicable and scalable programs.”

“We are honored by this recognition and especially proud of the long-standing partnership with Richmond ARC in making a difference in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities,” said Brent Archer, President, Columbia Gas of Virginia. “Our WarmWise energy efficiency program has been beneficial in many ways to our customers and underpins our commitment in promoting the wise use of energy.”

Columbia Gas of Virginia and Richmond ARC were honored along with 5 other first-place winners: Manassas Park Elementary School and Pre-Kindergarten, Submitted by 2rw Consultants, Inc. (Academic); Development of PACE Financing in Virginia, Submitted by Abacus Property Solutions, Virginia Community Capital, and McGuireWoods Consulting (Commercial); Henrico County (Local Government); Live Stream Distance Learning Energy Efficiency Project, Submitted by Community Housing Project (Low-Income); Virginia Department of Corrections (State Government). The full list of winners and runners-up along with project descriptions can be found online (http://vaeec.org/programs/awards/).

Any person, entity or group who works on energy efficiency in Virginia was eligible for the Awards which were chosen by a Selection Committee, comprised of members of the VAEEC Education and Outreach Committee and additional volunteer members of VAEEC.

About the VAEEC
The Virginia Energy Efficiency Council is the voice for the energy efficiency industry in the Commonwealth. Our members include Fortune 500 companies, universities, nonprofits, local governments, state agencies, and utilities. The Council's goal is to ensure that energy efficiency is an integral part to Virginia’s economy and clean energy future. Together, we are creating, implementing, and sharing energy efficiency solutions that keep costs down for residents and businesses, while improving the quality of life in our work and home environments. www.vaeec.org

About Columbia Gas of Virginia
Columbia Gas of Virginia delivers safe, reliable and clean natural gas to over 264,000 customers in portions of Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, suburban Richmond, Central Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, Lynchburg region and Western Virginia. With headquarters in Chesterfield County, the company is one of the 7 energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) serving 3.8 million natural gas and electric customers. Always call 811 before you dig and Dig with CARE. Learn more at www.ColumbiaGasVa.com.