Fast-growing Florida currently welcomes as many as 1,000 new residents daily, some of whom are enjoying the convenience and comfort of environmentally-friendly and economical natural gas appliances from Peoples Gas inside their new homes.
To safely and reliably serve all Peoples Gas customers, the company’s Gas Control facility has a new home too – one with a great inside view of the entire state.
The focus of our Gas Control team is to monitor, control and coordinate the flow of natural gas throughout the pipeline systems that we operate in a safe and efficient manner. The team also monitors the system to ensure the accurate volume and pressure of gas to meet customer needs. At the same time, Gas Control works closely with the company’s operating divisions throughout Florida. Gas Control also works closely with our Fuels Management teams to handle requests and serve as a single point of contact for system information.
For Florida’s largest natural gas provider, that’s a big job. To complement our team’s proven track record of success, we need to make sure they have the right tools to serve you.
Bill McNair, supervisor of Gas Control, led the effort to get the new Gas Control space up and running this month at TECO Plaza. He had to factor in federal and state regulations, industry best practices and the ergonomic needs of our Gas Control team members, who are there in round-the-clock shifts, 365 days a year. We never take our eyes off the ball, so to speak – not for a moment – when it comes to our system’s safety and reliability.
In recognition of ever-growing threats, we’ve designed the facility to meet the increasing need for security, including cyber security. As a particularly unique feature, the facility has an entire wall of made of “smart glass” that can switch from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button for added privacy.
“I’m very fortunate to lead our Gas Control team that includes five gas controllers and a gas control coordinator,” McNair said. “Although we’re a small group, we take the huge task of ensuring safe, reliable gas service for our customers very seriously. And the new facility enables us to do more, and do it more effectively, than ever before. This is a great investment by TECO for creating a stronger, safer, more reliable gas system in Florida.”
I hope Peoples Gas customers share my pride in the hard work that this team puts in daily. We’re humbled that Cogent Reports named us the most-trusted utility in the nation last year – but we’re not slowing down to enjoy it. We’re always working to implement new measures, like our state-of-the-art Gas Control facility, to make sure you have full confidence that the natural gas you need is always there.
Rick Wall is director of Gas Operations with Peoples Gas.