Today, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved a UGI pilot program designed to provide natural gas to individuals and small businesses who currently do not have access to service. UGI plans to fund the pilot program at an annual level of $15 million a year for five years, for a total of $75 million.
The Growth Extension Tariff, also known as GET Gas, allows customers to pay a monthly surcharge over time, avoiding significant up-front cost, when connecting to a new natural gas main extension. Areas served under the GET Gas program must meet certain minimum economic requirements in order to qualify.
“Due in part to the increasing availability of reasonably-priced natural gas from Marcellus Shale, natural gas is one of the cleanest, most abundant and least expensive energy sources in Pennsylvania,” Robert R. Stoyko, Vice President of Customer Relations, said. “In recent years, UGI has seen record demand from consumers requesting conversions to natural gas from other fuels. GET Gas is an innovative program designed to allow an expanded number of consumers greater access to natural gas. We’ve heard from those who would like to be our customers, and we are responding with this program that will let us increase our reach. We appreciate the PUC recognizing the significant value of the GET Gas program.”
Most customers connected under the GET Gas program will be able to use a portion of the savings generated from converting to natural gas service to offset the GET Gas surcharge amount.
GET Gas surcharges will remain fixed over a ten year payment period and will remain with the service location if a customer moves. Customers will have the option of paying off the GET Gas surcharge at any point in time.
The pilot program will be available to potential customers in all three of UGI’s natural gas distribution companies: UGI Utilities – Gas Division, UGI Penn Natural Gas and UGI Central Penn Gas. Together, the UGI natural gas distribution companies currently serve approximately 600,000 customers in 45 counties in Pennsylvania.
UGI expects that the GET Gas program will be available to customers in early fall. Additional information about the GET Gas program is available at www.ugi.com/getgas. UGI will continue to update the site as the program gets closer to implementation.