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Columbia grant helps Vinton County save energy

Monday, August 06, 2012

McArthur, Ohio – Columbia Gas of Ohio officials today presented the Vinton County Commissioners a rebate check for more than $43,000 to help pay for new high-efficency gas boilers at the Vinton County Courthouse.

The company is making the grant as part of its Innovative Energy Solutions (IES) program, which assists its commercial natural gas customers with energy-saving building improvement projects.

Vinton County is using the Columbia rebate to cover half the cost of replacing an inefficient natural gas boiler system at the county courthouse with new gas boilers that are 96 percent efficient.

“We’re grateful that the county participated in our Innovative Energy Solutions program,” said Dan Creekmur, Columbia’s vice president of regulatory affairs. “Through our partnership, we’re helping to save taxpayer dollars here in Vinton County.”

The Vinton County Courthouse was built in the 1930s and equipped with a coal-fired steam boiler for heat. The original system was replaced with natural gas boilers years ago, but that system produced inconsistent heat and resulted in high natural gas bills for the county.

Through IES, the county replaced the old gas system with two new high-efficiency gas boilers. The new heating system should provide consistent temperature controls throughout the building, and significantly reduce natural gas usage during the winter heating season.

Innovative Energy Solutions provides energy efficiency rebates to business customers and not-for-profit organizations with annual natural gas usage of 3,000 Ccf or more in its 61-county service territory. The Columbia Gas of Ohio energy efficiency rebate to the county will cover half the $86,475 cost of upgrading the boilers.

For more information about Innovative Energy Solutions, visit ColumbiaGasOhio.com/ies.

The company offers a variety of energy efficiency programs for residential customers as well. These include WarmChoice®, no-cost home weatherization services for income-eligible customers, Home Performance Solutions, which provides discounted energy audits and rebates on home energy efficiency improvements, and Simple Energy Solutions, which offers discounts on programmable thermostats and high-efficiency showerheads.

For more information on these programs, visit Save Money! on the Columbia Gas of Ohio web site.

About Columbia Gas of Ohio

Columbia Gas of Ohio safely delivers clean and efficient natural gas to approximately 1.4 million customers in 61 of Ohio’s 88 counties. With headquarters in Columbus, it is one of the seven energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) and is the largest natural gas utility in the state. NiSource companies deliver energy to approximately 3.8 million customers located within the high-demand energy corridor stretching from the Gulf Coast through the Midwest to New England.

Be sure to call 811 at least two business days before you dig. For information about natural gas safety and what to do if you suspect a gas leak, go to: SafeGasOhio.org.