PA Gas Utility Approved to Provide Marcellus on Installment Plan

Residents in Cambria County, PA want some of that abundant, clean-burning and cheap Marcellus Shale natural gas to use for heating their homes. But you need a pipeline to your house in order to get it–and in many rural locations, like Cambria, pipelines would need to be built. Pipelines are expensive to build. Until now, residents who want natural gas would have to pay–up front–to have new pipelines built. It costs on the order of $20,000+ (per household) to build the necessary infrastructure–a cost out of reach for 99% of the people who want it. How do you bridge the gap? In the great American tradition, use the installment plan! Utility company Peoples Natural Gas (PNG), the local gas utility in Cambria, asked the PA Public Utility Commission to approve a plan that allows customers to pay over time. The PUC has appoved the plan. PNG’s plan will cost the average resident $70 per month for up to 25 years–approximately $55 per month to build the mainline pipeline to a community, and $15 per month to run lines to individual homes. It adds up to a potential $21K for each household, but spread across 25 years it’s not all that bad. Most, perhaps all, homes would end up saving money because using Marcellus Shale gas to heat with is so much cheaper than heating with oil and electricity…

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