A survey of utility customers nationwide has named Piedmont Natural Gas a Top Utility Environmental Champion of 2017 for initiatives such as slashing emissions in its vehicle fleet and making its facilities more energy efficient.
This is the third consecutive year Piedmont has earned the prestigious designation, which is based on a study of nearly 58,000 customers among 130 of the nation's largest residential gas and electric utility providers. Piedmont is one of 40 companies on the list released by Cogent Reports and Market Strategies International.
Cogent Reports conducted surveys among residential electric, natural gas and combination utility customers between the second quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, asking them to rate their utility company's dedication to environmental stewardship.
"We are thrilled to be recognized as one of Cogent Reports' top utility champions for 2017," said Frank Yoho, head of gas operations for Piedmont Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy. "Environmental stewardship is a core value for Piedmont, and we are gratified to know that our customers are aware of and value the many ongoing initiatives Piedmont has undertaken to reduce our impact on our environment and help our customers do the same."
In late March, Piedmont celebrated the opening of a new Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)-eligible facility in Fayetteville, N.C. LEED is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class sustainable building strategies and practices. Piedmont already operates three LEED-certified facilities in North Carolina – in Charlotte, Rockingham and Tarboro – and one in Nashville.
Piedmont also has taken a lead role in championing the use of cleaner, lower-cost compressed natural gas (CNG) as a transportation fuel, resulting in a surge in CNG demand from trucks and other fleet vehicles.
Piedmont is nearing completion of its 11th public CNG refueling station, located near the junction of Interstate 40 and U.S. 321 in Hickory. And the company has converted about one-third of its own corporate fleet of approximately 900 vehicles to run on CNG.