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Yankee Gas Services Company
P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141-0270
Yankee Gas Ready, Able to Serve Customers This Heating Season
Mary B. Ingarra
BERLIN, Conn., October 5, 2004 (NU:NYSE)
– As the heating season approaches, Yankee Gas Services Company wants Connecticut residents to know that natural gas supplies are adequate to meet customer demand this winter, but they can expect to pay more to heat their homes, assuming normal weather.
“Energy prices are up across the board and consumers will pay more regardless if they heat with natural gas, oil, propane or electricity,” said Dennis E. Welch, president and COO, Yankee Gas. “It’s important consumers understand that Yankee Gas purchases natural gas on behalf of customers and passes the cost through to them without any mark up or profit. We earn income from delivering the gas to customers through our distribution system. At Yankee we do everything we can to purchase the most cost-effective gas supplies to help mitigate price volatility for our customers.”
To prepare for the heating season, Yankee purchases its natural gas during the summer from a variety of sources, and currently has more than 7.7 Bcf (billion cubic feet) of natural gas storage capacity to serve customers this winter. However, it was more expensive to purchase the natural gas this summer versus last summer, which means it will be more expensive for customers when these supplies are used this winter. The good news is that natural gas in storage will help offset the higher winter price spikes, like those that occurred in recent winters.
“In addition to ensuring that gas supplies are in good shape, we spend approximately $20 million annually to ensure the safety and reliability of our distribution system network of gas mains and services," said Welch. “This paid off last winter when Yankee’s distribution system performed well during the January cold snap."
Yankee Gas customers can take advantage of payment program options that can help them better manage their energy costs this winter. For customers whose account payments are current, Yankee Gas has a Budget Payment Program that allows them to spread out payments over an 11-month period. For more information, call Yankee Gas toll-free at 1-800-989-0900 or visit www.yankeegas.com.
Yankee’s Matching Payment Program allows low-income, gas-heating customers who have past-due balances to work out a monthly payment arrangement so their gas heating service will be provided all year round. Qualifying customers can receive shutoff
protection through the Winter Protection Plan, which keeps customers from having their gas heating service turned off if they fail to pay their bill between November 1, 2004 and April 15, 2005. Customers must meet federal income guidelines and must be a natural gas heating customer. Non-heating customers, such as those with a serious medical condition, may also be eligible for Winter Protection. For more information on how to sign up for the Matching Payment Program and Winter Protection Plan call 1-800-438-2278, or visit www.yankeegas.com.
Yankee Gas Services Company (Yankee Gas) is Connecticut’s largest natural gas distribution company, delivering safe, reliable natural gas service to approximately 194,000 customers in 71 cities and towns. Yankee Gas is expanding Connecticut’s energy options and increasing customer choice by extending the availability of clean, efficient natural gas throughout the state. Yankee Gas is part of the Northeast Utilities System (NYSE: NU). For more information, please visit www.yankeegas.com.
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