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Yankee Gas Services Company
P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141-0270
Energy Prices, Demand Expected to Rise This Winter
Yankee Gas has programs to help customers weather winter
Sandy St. Pierre
BERLIN, CT October 9, 2002 (NYSE: NU) –
Following last year’s record winter warmth and lower energy prices, consumers can expect to pay higher energy prices across the board this heating season. Demand for natural gas, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is expected to increase 12 percent compared to last year, assuming normal weather. The DOE also is predicting natural gas prices will increase 19 percent on average nationally, compared to last year, while heating oil will increase an average of 45 percent. This comes at a time when production is down, the economy continues to have a negative effect on consumer spending patterns and the U.S. appears poised for war with Iraq. In addition to these effects, the weather also plays a role.
“The weather is always the wild card,” said Marc Andrukiewicz, director of Gas Management at Yankee Gas. “We could have another mild winter, like last year, or it could be much colder. Either way, the weather has an effect on demand and, consequently, price.” Andrukiewicz warns that regardless of the weather, consumers should get used to the fact that natural gas prices will continue to fluctuate in the foreseeable future.
Heading into the winter heating season, Andrukiewicz assures customers that Yankee is well-positioned to meet customer needs this winter. In addition to storage supplies, the company works hard to buy gas under a mix of contracts that deliver the best value to customers.
Going forward, Yankee is taking proactive steps to help insulate customers from the volatile nature of heating season energy prices. The construction of a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility is one way of accomplishing this goal. “Having an LNG facility, like the one we’re planning to build in Waterbury, will give us greater flexibility and security of supply,” said Andrukiewicz. “It will allow us to buy gas when prices and demand are typically low, store it and then use it when prices and demand go higher. That’s good for all of our customers.”
Help is available
Low income consumers are the hardest hit by rising energy costs. Yankee Gas has programs in place to help these customers, including Matching Payment and Winter Protection Programs that work in combination with energy assistance and payment arrangements. Yankee works in partnership with local Community Action Agencies, Operation Fuel and InfoLine to make these programs work.
In addition, customers also can take advantage of Yankee’s Budget Payment Program, spreading their gas costs over the course of year. Customers can sign up for this program at any time of year.
Finally, customers can help, too. Customers are urged to add one dollar to their Yankee Gas bill each month to support Operation Fuel, a private, nonprofit, emergency energy assistance program that provides prompt, confidential, one-time energy purchases to thousands of Connecticut residents each year.
All customers receive the benefit of the Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA), which helps mitigate the full impact of rising gas prices by spreading the higher gas costs over a 12 month period. The PGA is a cost adjustment to customer bills to reflect the actual cost of natural gas, above what is already built into Yankee’s base rates. It is reviewed and approved by the Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) each month.
Natural gas remains a good value
Natural gas remains the most popular home heating fuel in America because consumers prefer its comfort, efficiency, reliability and value. Most new single family homes (7 of every 10) choose natural gas heat which can increase the value of a home because of its desirability. To meet the growing demand for natural gas in Connecticut, Yankee Gas is in the second year of a multi-year system expansion effort to deliver more energy options to businesses and residents across the state.
For more information on the programs offered by Yankee Gas, visit our Web site at
. For more information on the Department of Energy’s monthly outlook for fuel and heating prices over the coming winter, visit its Web site at
Yankee Energy System, Inc., (YES) which is part of the Northeast Utilities system, includes Yankee Gas Services Company, the largest natural gas distribution company in Connecticut serving approximately 191,000 customers in 70 cities and towns throughout the state. Yankee Energy also includes Yankee Energy Financial Services Company, which provides a full range of residential and commercial energy equipment financing options. Further information about YES can be obtained from its Web sites:
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