Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, subsidiaries of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), remain well positioned to accommodate the growing need for natural gas in their Connecticut service territories this heating season.
The companies enter the 2018-2019 season with access to plentiful supplies of natural gas. These include supplies stored in out-of-state underground facilities, as well as long-term firm pipeline capacity used to deliver it. The companies have also fully stocked their liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facilities in Connecticut.
The strong supply picture not only allows SCG and CNG to provide safe, reliable service in virtually all weather — including severe cold — but also bodes well for budgets, since long-term firm pipeline capacity accesses low-cost supplies. The gas stored-out-of state was purchased at summer prices and is designed to serve up to 40 percent of winter customer demand.
“If you’re a natural gas heating customer, when you turn up the dial on your thermostat, you probably don’t give a thought to whether there’s enough fuel to get you through a cold snap — as you might if you heated with oil or propane,” said Tony Marone, chief executive officer of Orange-based SCG and East Hartford-based CNG. “We work year-round to ensure we have ample supply and the ability to deliver it safely and reliably to your home or business.”
The two companies design their systems and plan for the ability to serve customers based on the coldest day and the coldest winter of the last 30 years. The companies expect to be able to serve a peak daily demand of 673,000 million British thermal units (Btu) of natural gas, and a very cold winter demand totaling 58,200,000 million Btu.
The companies have multiple tools in their arsenals to ensure a reliable supply of natural gas for customers and prevent spikes in demand from driving prices up during cold weather, said John Rudiak, senior director of energy supply for CNG and SCG.
In addition to ensuring sufficient supply is available from out-of-state production fields and gas storage locations, SCG and CNG also hold long-term “firm” arrangements on interstate pipelines to ensure that they have the ability to transport these supplies to the local distribution system for Connecticut homes and businesses.
Additionally, during peak conditions the companies can inject supplemental supplies into their systems from the two LNG storage facilities they operate in Connecticut. One of these was recently upgraded so that it can produce LNG on-site instead of relying on trucked-in out-of-state supplies; a similar project is underway at the other plant.
When necessary, the companies can also call on “interruptible” customers — usually large commercial or industrial customers — to suspend their use of gas or switch temporarily to another fuel until weather conditions subside. In exchange, those customers receive a special rate consideration.
“These tools and strategies not only help ensure a reliable supply but also help to keep costs down for our customers,” Rudiak said.
SCG and CNG remind customers to be alert to the signs of a gas leak and report any suspected leak to the gas company or 911.
A natural gas leak may be recognized by smell, sight, or sound.
- Smell: Natural gas is colorless and odorless. For safety, a distinctive sulfur-like odor, similar to rotten eggs, is added so that customers can recognize it quickly.
- Sight: A white cloud, mist, fog, bubbles in standing water, or blowing dust are possible warning signs of a gas leak. Customers may also see vegetation that appears to be dead or dying for no apparent reason.
- Sound: A gas leak may create an unusual noise like roaring, hissing, or whistling.
If you suspect a leak, get up, get outside and get away. Do not smoke or operate electrical switches or appliances. Report the condition immediately from a safe location — do not assume someone else will report the condition.
- Southern Connecticut Gas: 800-513-8898
- Connecticut Natural Gas: 866-924-5325