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Connecticut Gas Companies Submit Innovative Plan to Expand Customer Access to Natural Gas

Yankee Gas, Connecticut Natural Gas and Southern Connecticut Gas Companies Respond to State's Request with Comprehensive Joint Filing.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tricia Taskey Modifica, Yankee Gas
Office: 860-665-4605

BERLIN, Conn. - June 17, 2013 - 

In response to the overwhelming interest in converting to natural gas, and the state’s desire to increase access, Connecticut’s natural gas distribution companies are working together to dramatically redefine how to expand their systems to meet customers’ needs and provide savings to Connecticut residents and businesses alike. Yankee Gas, Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG) and Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG) recognize that more residents are interested in reducing their energy bills, using energy in the most efficient manner possible, and connecting to the cleanest and most cost-effective heating fuel available.

The three gas companies have filed a comprehensive joint gas expansion plan with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) outlining how they will meet the gas expansion goals proposed in the governor’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) and the recently enacted House Bill 6360.

“Governor Malloy and DEEP have developed an energy framework that will create broad energy opportunities in the state,” said Rod Powell, President and Chief Operating Officer of Yankee Gas. “Expanding access to cheap, domestic natural gas will lead to dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and significant savings on the average family’s home heating bills. It will also give residents more choice and stimulate the state and local economies.”

“We’ve heard consistent requests for tools that will enable individuals to convert to natural gas and save money,” offered Bob Allessio, President and Chief Executive Officer for CNG and SCG. “With the help of Governor Malloy, DEEP and the men and women of the Connecticut Legislature, we are one step closer to realizing a significant economic development opportunity for our state and providing substantial savings to our customers.”

This gas expansion plan, unique in the United States, will redefine how gas companies connect customers to natural gas. The plan outlines a structured approach to add approximately 280,000 new gas heating customers over the next 10 years.

The plan also includes a set of recommendations designed to help meet the new customer goal, including:

  • Providing more flexibility in the process of adding new customers to keep the customer “utility hook up” costs down
  • Establishing a procedure to extend natural gas service for interested customers who are further away from the main gas line, along with creative tools to help fund conversion costs
  • Allowing utilities to secure additional pipeline capacity coming into Connecticut

In addition, Yankee Gas, CNG and SCG are working to make the conversion process easier for customers by increasing their education and outreach efforts to ensure residents understand this opportunity. The companies recently launched “Get Connected,” an informational and educational program to help customers better understand the process of converting to natural gas. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/getconnectedct.

“Over the last 20 years Connecticut has struggled to attract new business investment and grow jobs,” said Rob Santy, President and CEO of Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. “Not surprisingly, costs of doing business, including most notably utility and workforce costs, are most often cited as reasons that businesses don’t seriously consider Connecticut. As a state, we need to do whatever we can to improve our competitiveness if we are going to attract new investment and create more jobs. Increased use of natural gas can do just that -a win-win that doesn’t occur often.”

"The Town of Wilton is already working with Yankee Gas to make natural gas more readily available throughout our community," said Bill Brennan, First Selectman of Wilton. "This gas expansion plan will help us more quickly convert our schools and the business district so they can take advantage of the opportunity. Once we are connected, we estimate the town will save more than $400,000 a year on energy costs."

Yankee Gas, a Northeast Utilities company (NYSE:NU) is Connecticut's largest natural gas distribution company, serving approximately 214,000 customers in 71 cities and towns. For more information, please visit www.yankeegas.com, like us on Facebook (facebook.com/YankeeGas) and follow us on Twitter @YankeeGas.

Headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut, UIL Holdings Corporation (NYSE:UIL) is a diversified energy delivery company serving more than 700,000 electric and natural gas utility customers in 66 communities across two states, with combined total assets of over $4 billion.

UIL is the parent company of The United Illuminating Company (UI), The Southern Connecticut Gas Company (SCG), Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation (CNG), and The Berkshire Gas Company (Berkshire), each more than 100 years old. UI provides for the transmission and delivery of electricity and other energy related services for Connecticut's Greater New Haven and Bridgeport areas. SCG and CNG are natural gas distribution companies that serve customers in Connecticut, while Berkshire Gas serves natural gas customers in western Massachusetts. UIL employs more than 1,850 people in the New England region. For more information on UIL Holdings, visit http://www.uil.com.

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