Save Energy and Stay Safe this Earth Day and Arbor Day

Monday, April 24, 2017

Kristine Johnson
(804) 768-6418

Columbia Gas WarmWise program offers energy savings

Always call 811 before digging

 Chester, VA – April 21, 2017 – Columbia Gas of Virginia offers these important tips for saving energy and staying safe during this month’s Earth Day and Arbor Day celebrations: 

 Save Energy and Money With WarmWise

Looking for ways to save energy and money this Earth Day?  Check out Columbia Gas of Virginia’s WarmWise program ( for these and other tips that have helped customers save more than $10 million dollars since 2010:

  • The WarmWise Home Savings Evaluation is a great place to start saving. This free online energy audit provides a personalized report for how to reduce energy usage and save money in your home. Qualifying customers who complete the evaluation also receive a free energy efficiency kit to kick start their savings.
  • Outdated energy equipment is not only inefficient, it’s expensive. WarmWise offers cash back rebates for energy saving upgrades such as insulation, windows, doors, skylights and gas furnaces. This Earth Day, take steps to conserve energy 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 800-544-5606
  • 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 

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About Columbia Gas of Virginia

Columbia Gas of Virginia delivers safe, reliable and clean natural gas to more than 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 seven 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