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News Dec 9, 2013 - 7:59:26 AM

Utility: Gas Supply Picture Remains Strong for CNG and SCG this Heating Season and Beyond

By UIL Holdings Corporation

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NEW HAVEN, CT - As The Southern Connecticut Gas Company and Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation continue to add thousands of new customers, they have access to sufficient gas supplies to serve all customers now and into the future. The companies also applauded a recent agreement reached by six New England Governors.

The companies, which are subsidiaries of UIL Holdings Corporation (NYSE: UIL), have added more than 13,000 new customers since the beginning of the year. Company officials reassured customers that supplies going into the heating season are more than adequate to serve all customers, both old and new.

“While more and more customers take advantage of the continued low, stable price of natural gas relative to fuel oil, we have firm capacity contracts in place to ensure there are ample supplies to serve both existing and new customers,” said Robert Allessio, president of Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG) and Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG). “Our customers can rest assured that the growing popularity of environmentally friendly natural gas won’t cause a supply crunch and leave them in the cold.”

SCG and CNG are supplied by major transmission pipelines that bring in natural gas from regions where it is produced, including the Appalachian basin and Canada. The companies supplement these pipeline supplies with reserves of liquid natural gas stored at local facilities in Connecticut, as well as large reserves from underground storage facilities in several states.

In addition, the companies offer larger industrial and commercial customers the opportunity for lower rates if they are willing to switch temporarily from natural gas to other fuel sources at times when demand is unusually high. This helps even out short-term spikes in demand for natural gas during certain peak periods, ensuring that there is plenty available for all customers.

“Our gas supply system is designed to provide gas to customers under all weather conditions, and it works. When it’s extremely cold and demand for natural gas reaches its highest levels in Connecticut, we have a variety of tools in our toolkit to ensure that supplies are more than adequate to serve everyone,” said John Rudiak, senior director of energy supply for UIL’s Connecticut gas companies.

The companies’ officials also disputed recent reports suggesting that the region’s natural gas supplies and infrastructure may be insufficient to meet growing demand for the inexpensive fuel, saying natural gas distribution companies such as SCG and CNG ensure reliable firm capacity contracts are in place to meet their customers’ needs.

Meanwhile, the relatively recent discovery of vast domestic reserves of natural gas in shale rock — including the Marcellus Shale formation in western New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia — is dramatically altering the overall supply picture, providing increased access to low cost natural gas for our customers in Connecticut.

Public policy is adapting to accommodate the shifting supply picture. On Friday, the governors of the six New England states announced a joint initiative to invest in the region’s energy infrastructure, including the electric and natural gas transmission systems that serve Connecticut. They noted that the region’s electric and natural gas systems have become “increasingly interdependent,” and said the initiative would help to lower costs, reduce greenhouse emissions and improve reliability across the region.

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