City’s gas division recognized for excellence

The American Public Gas Association recently presented the City of Rocky Mount with the prestigious APGA System Operational Achievement Recognition (SOAR) for excellence in operating its natural gas utility.

Public natural gas systems are entrusted by their customers to deliver clean and affordable natural gas through a safe and reliable distribution pipeline system. To accomplish this mission, a forward-thinking natural gas utility constantly strives to improve its operating capabilities, overcome challenges and adapt to its changing environment.

Out of approximately 750 APGA members, the City of Rocky Mount was selected for SOAR level Gold by its peers on the APGA Operations and Safety Committee. The selection was based on demonstrated excellence in the four areas of system integrity, system improvement, employee safety and workforce development.

System integrity refers to the natural gas distribution system performing its overall intended function safely, efficiently and effectively — distributing energy to all customers without being degraded or impaired by its internal or external environment. System improvement refers to keeping the natural gas system well maintained and up-to-date through a self-improvement program that includes both an eye on the future through research and development, technology integration and a commitment to system improvement programs.

Systems that exhibit excellence in employee safety include adopting a safety program that includes policies and procedures for education involvement and accountability for all employees, as well as tracking safety performance. Lastly, workforce development focuses on creative recruitment, training, education and development practices that provide a return on investment through increased employee loyalty, motivation, safety and productivity.

“The City of Rocky Mount was highly rated in all four areas that are required of SOAR,” APGA President and CEO Dave Schryver said. “Rocky Mount consistently demonstrates a commitment to providing natural gas safely and efficiently to all those in their community and as such, serves as a model for all other natural gas utilities in the country. APGA is proud to recognize Rocky Mount and is confident in their continued success.”

The City of Rocky Mount was one of 15 SOAR recipients recognized in 2021, joining the 41 previous SOAR award recipients. Rocky Mount is one of three gas utilities to receive the Gold award in 2021. The system also received a plaque signifying Rocky Mount’s commitment to and achievement in excellence in operating a natural gas utility system.

The City of Rocky Mount was recognized at the 2021 APGA Annual Conference in Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M.