WILTON, CT - Governor Dannel P. Malloy last week joined officials from the Town of Wilton and representatives of Yankee Gas at a ceremony to launch the start of a large-scale natural gas expansion project in the town that is estimated to save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in energy costs for schools and other government buildings, in addition to being available for private residential and business use.
Wilton becomes the first community in the state to partner with a utility through Governor Malloy’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy, which calls for an expansion of the state’s natural gas distribution systems to provide more residents and businesses with the opportunity to choose natural gas.
“We created our state’s first-ever Comprehensive Energy Strategy with the goal of providing cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy to Connecticut’s residents,” Governor Malloy said. “Today’s announcement in Wilton is doing just that – reducing energy costs while creating construction jobs in the short-term and putting into place the infrastructure to support a growing economy that leads to long-term job growth.”
The Wilton gas expansion project involves the installation of a 3.5-mile underground pipeline along existing roads to connect natural gas to Wilton’s downtown business district, municipal buildings, the Middlebrook, Comstock and Cider Mill Schools, the Comstock Community Center, and Wilton High School. Wilton’s Energy Commission estimates that by converting to natural gas, the town will save approximately $500,000 annually in energy costs.
“Here in Wilton, we are turning our vision for expanded use of natural gas into a reality,” said Robert Klee, Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, “We are also making similar progress in implementing other components of the Governor’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy – we have doubled funding for popular and cost effective energy efficiency programs; increased by ten-fold the amount of renewable energy we are generating in state; committed to the procurement of 270 MW of power from grid-scale wind and solar projects; and built out a system of charging stations to encourage the use of electric vehicles.”
Weather permitting, Yankee Gas will have construction crews working 12 hour days over the next several months to complete the project in a timely fashion. Work will take place at multiple sites along the route until the project is completed. Initial construction areas include the high school, the downtown business district and Wolfpit Road in an effort to avoid congestion.
In addition to addressing a variety of topics regarding energy consumption and costs, Governor Malloy’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy, which received legislative approval, calls for providing consumers more options in how they heat their homes and businesses, including making a lower-cost natural gas option available to hundreds of thousands of residents and 75% of businesses in the next seven years.