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Nicor Gas Emerging Technology Program Receives Sustainability Award

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Nov. 1, 2018 – Nicor Gas’ Emerging Technology Program (ETP) is the recipient of the 2018 Illinois Sustainability Award for its efforts to implement innovative and sustainable technologies and its demonstrated commitment to sustaining environmental, social and economic health. The ETP, a part of energySMART, Nicor Gas’ energy efficiency program, assesses promising new technologies that have the potential to generate natural gas savings. It is the only gas ETP program of its kind in Illinois and the largest in the Midwest.

Since 1987, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center has awarded the Sustainability Award annually to Illinois organizations that are committed leaders in reducing environmental impact and contributing to the growth of a more sustainable Illinois economy. It is the longest running environmental award program of its kind in the state, and the country. Nicor Gas’ impact through the ETP enables growth and expansion in natural gas savings opportunities, positioning Nicor Gas a leader in the natural gas energy efficiency industry.

“Energy efficiency is about building an infrastructure that’s more sustainable for future generations,” said Randy Opdyke, manager of planning, evaluations and analytics at Nicor Gas. “Through the Emerging Technology Program, we can help enhance and innovate the energy efficiency market while bringing benefits and sustainable options to our customers, and ultimately the rest of Illinois and beyond.” 

Through the ETP, energySMART searches for new products and practices that are commercially available to help bring them widespread adoption. Selected technologies proceed through pilot assessments to provide information on true performance, operational energy savings and would-be installation costs for future energy efficiency offerings. Pilots that establish promising energy savings in the Nicor Gas service territory are considered for rebate offerings may be added to the portfolio of energySMART offerings.

To date, more than 100 energy-savings concepts have been submitted by engineers, entrepreneurs, business owners and manufacturers and 26 of those have gone to pilot projects in residential, commercial and industrial markets. The ETP identified, evaluated and facilitated five emerging technologies as new rebates through energySMART. Some of the annual savings in field tests resulted in:

  • More than 400 therms were saved with the installation of each industrial air curtain in a distribution warehouse.
  • A big box retailer saved more than 2,300 therms and $1,700 with a condensing rooftop unit module.
  • Modulating gas valve retrofits on commercial clothes dryers provided an average gas savings of 333 therms per dryer.
  • For more information about energySMART or the Emerging Technology Program, visit:

About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.2 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit

About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four with 774,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit 


Media Contact:
Jennifer Golz
o: 630.388.3737 | c: 331.222.8716 |