Business Name: Virginia Natural Gas
President's Name: Robert Duvall
President's Title: President, Virginia Natural Gas
What are your business's core values, goals, and overall mission?
Virginia Natural Gas’ ongoing mission is to provide safe and reliable natural gas service to more than 287,000 households and businesses in southeastern Virginia, including Hampton Roads where many of our employees reside and are proud to call home. Throughout our rich history, we have operated under a philosophy that there is more than just a good way to do business – there is a right way. For us, that means living our corporate values and giving back to the communities we serve. Our company continues to distinguish itself as a community partner by its strong philanthropic and volunteer activities which concentrate on education, environmental stewardship, community enrichment and energy assistance.
Share some unique facts and business history? What makes your business stand out?
Our roots in the region date back more than 165 years. On Oct. 1, 1849, at a time when many U.S. cities began using the new technology of manufactured gas to illuminate streets and thoroughfares, our predecessor company lit its first gas street light on Freemason Street in Norfolk. From these humble beginnings to our maturation as one of the fastest-growing natural gas distribution companies in the country, Virginia Natural Gas has always been proud to serve its customers in Hampton Roads, and we look forward to continuing our commitment to making a difference in the community and providing our customers with safe, affordable and reliable natural gas service.
What products or services do you offer companies or individuals? date back more than 165 years. On Oct. 1, 1849, at a time when many U.S. cities began using the new technology of manufactured gas to illuminate streets and thoroughfares, our predecessor company lit its first gas street light on Freemason Street in Norfolk. From these humble beginnings to our maturation as one of the fastest-growing natural gas distribution companies in the country, Virginia Natural Gas has always been proud to serve its customers in Hampton Roads, and we look forward to continuing our commitment to making a difference in the community and providing our customers with safe, affordable and reliable natural gas service.
Virginia Natural Gas provides natural gas service to more than 287,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the Hampton Roads area of southeastern Virginia.
What are the greatest obstacles and/or challenges that your business has faced? How have you and your business overcome them?
Virginia Natural Gas is faced with the challenge of growing our business and meeting the growing needs of our customers. To meet growing demand for natural gas and ensure that families and business owners in Hampton Roads have ready access to natural gas, we have made significant investments during the last decade to modernize our natural gas pipeline system. In addition to enhancing the safety and reliability of our system, these strategic investments are expected to play an integral role in stimulating the local economy. Additional natural gas infrastructure, such as the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, will address critical energy needs and position the region to meet existing and growing customer demand for this reliable, competitively-priced fuel source, and ensure that the region remains an attractive place for industry to locate.
Virginia Natural Gas works with consumers, communities, regulators and stakeholders to leverage the most efficient use of natural gas. We strive to improve energy efficiencies and reduce consumer costs and greenhouse gas emissions through energySMART, our energy efficiency program that is designed to educate customers on energy conversation and provide tips and incentives to encourage them to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Safety is our No. 1 value. The commitment to the safety of “our people, our public and our pipeline” is a standard to which we all are held accountable, and one our employees have embraced. We are committed to maintaining a safe and reliable natural gas pipeline infrastructure system that serves the needs of customers and communities. We design and operate our pipelines to meet or exceed all applicable state or federal pipeline safety regulations. We have made significant pipeline infrastructure investments to enhance safety, upgrade systems and expand service so more people have access to abundant and affordable natural gas. These investments help to improve our system and ensure reliable service. Since 2012, Virginia Natural Gas has replaced more than 100 miles of aged pipeline infrastructure through a program called SAVE (Steps to Advance Virginia’s Energy plan). Our company also is recognized as an industry leader in the state in educating customers, emergency responders, governmental officials, the general public and excavators on the importance of underground damage prevention. Additionally, as a subsidiary of AGL Resources, we are proud to join the four local companies in Hampton Roads that made the latest Fortune 500 listing.
What do you see for the future of your business?
Natural gas will continue to play a role in Virginia’s energy landscape as the state looks to grow the energy industry, support infrastructure growth, encourage energy conservation and address workforce needs.
As a key employer in the region with a highly skilled workforce of approximately 225 employees, Virginia Natural Gas is focused on attracting and developing top-notch talent, as well as providing opportunities for diverse employees. Our company also is working to identify and forge better relationships with an increasingly diverse group of suppliers that share our core values and continually provides value to our business.
Why are you a member of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce?
The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce is the backbone of the business community in Hampton Roads. Virginia Natural Gas is working collaboratively with the chamber to drive economic growth, build a greater sense of community and connect with the next generation of leaders.