|For Immediate Release
December 5, 2005
GNG Contacts: Randy Lewis 404-843-8228
H.E.A.T. Contact: Janet Howard-Joseph 678-406-0212
Georgia Natural Gas® Donates $500,000 To Assist Low-Income Georgians with Winter Heating
GNG and WSB Radio Issue Challenge to Georgia Companies, Citizens to Help Their Neighbors
Atlanta – Georgia Natural Gas (GNG), the state's leading natural gas provider, has donated $500,000 collectively to the Heating Energy Assistance Team (H.E.A.T.) and three other Georgia nonprofit organizations that provide energy assistance to low-income citizens.
"Low-income Georgians will need help this winter more than ever before," said GNG President Michael Braswell. "Hurricanes Katrina and Rita delivered devastating damage to our nation's natural gas production facilities, causing record-high wholesale prices and making it more difficult for at-risk families and senior citizens to pay their winter heating bills."
Braswell challenged Georgia companies and private citizens to join GNG in its efforts to provide energy assistance by supporting H.E.A.T. He said the "GNG/H.E.A.T. Challenge" will be launched today in partnership with WSB AM (750) and WSB FM (98.5), which will air pro bono radio spots for the promotion for five weeks. The spots will direct potential donors to the GNG Web site, www.gng.com, for more details.
GNG's $500,000 donation was distributed as follows:
- a $300,000 donation to H.E.A.T
- a $100,000 donation to Resource Services Ministries of Atlanta
- a $50,000 donation to the Atlanta Council of the St. Vincent De Paul Society
- a $50,000 donation to The Sullivan Center of Atlanta
"For years we have supported H.E.A.T.'s crucial mission, and this year we are pleased to assist three other organizations that play a vital role in providing energy assistance to Georgia's most vulnerable citizens," said Braswell. "We also appreciate WSB's generous donation of air time to promote our challenge. They are an outstanding partner in this project."
Georgians can take part in the challenge by visiting the GNG Web site, www.gng.com, and following a quick link on the home page to additional information.
H.E.A.T. funds are distributed by the Georgia Department of Human Resources through local community action agencies. Qualified families apply for assistance at the agency that serves their county. Family households must meet established guidelines that include income eligibility. Resource Services Ministries, the St. Vincent De Paul Society and The Sullivan Center each has its own criteria to qualify for assistance.
With the $300,000 donation to H.E.A.T., GNG's contributions to H.E.A.T. over the past five years total nearly $1.8 million, equating to winter heating assistance for more than 7,000 Georgia low-income households.
"GNG is the single largest contributor to H.E.A.T. in its 24-year history. The company has been an extraordinary partner and has helped thousands of Georgia households with winter heating assistance," said Ira Shucker, chairman of the H.E.A.T. board of directors.
About Georgia Natural Gas
Georgia Natural Gas is the state's leading natural gas provider, serving more than a half-million customers throughout Georgia. GNG is part of SouthStar Energy Services, a Georgia-based joint venture between AGL Resources and Piedmont Natural Gas. SouthStar operates in other parts of the Southeast as SouthStar Energy Services and Piedmont Energy Company. For more information: www.gng.com.
The Heating Energy Assistance Team (H.E.A.T.) began as a program of Atlanta Gas Light Company in 1983 to raise money for low-income energy assistance. The program was created with the assistance of Frances F. Pauley, founder of the Georgia Poverty Rights Organization; First Georgia Bank; the Georgia Department of Human Resources; and a citizens advisory committee.
With the deregulation of Georgia's natural gas industry, H.E.A.T. became an independent 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization in May 2000. H.E.A.T. is administered under the auspices of a board of directors consisting of volunteer business and consumer leaders from around the state. Since 1983, H.E.A.T. has distributed more than $14.5 million and assisted some 73,000 Georgia households. For more information: www.heatga.org.