NANTICOKE — David Guzofsky has noticed that houses around his home have access to natural gas and wants to know why his development does not.
Guzofsky, 63, is a long-time resident of the Kelfield Acres in Nanticoke, a development of about 140 homes. He said that a natural gas line owned by UGI surrounds his development and provides natural gas to surrounding houses.
“There’s no availability of natural gas here,” Guzofsky said. “We’re surrounded by natural gas customers.”
Guzofsky has a propane fireplace and an on-demand underground water heater, so he has managed without natural gas, but he still would like access to natural gas.
“It pops into your head now and then,” he said. “I’m surviving without natural gas, but it’s just a courtesy that a company like that (UGI) should think of.”
He has also talked to some of is neighbors, and he said they are not happy about not being able to use natural gas. Guzofsky also said a lot of his neighbors have had to resort to propane gas, a more expensive alternative. With those potential customers, Guzofsky did not understand why natural gas was not available and that he can’t seem to get an answer from UGI.
Guzofsky said he has tried contacting UGI before, and was told that a survey would be done. He has not heard back since.
UGI spokesman Don Brominski said natural gas is, in fact, available, but customers may have to bear some of the costs of installing pipelines to homes.
“We are required by law to provide service,” he said. “However, we do not have an obligation to serve at no cost.”
Brominski explained that once a request is made inside of a franchise territory, UGI evaluates the cost to serve the customer compared to what the customer will use and the generated revenue.
UGI Penn Natural Gas tariff rates and rules state that the company’s investment in facilities “is warranted by the anticipated revenue to be derived from the extension. The costs of extending facilities beyond that provided by the company shall be paid by the applicant.”
If the cost to serve will be greater than the revenue derived, Brominski said the difference is asked for through a contribution for construction. If a number of people in the same area expressed interest, Brominski said UGI would send letters out to gauge interest.
He also said any potential contribution for construction could also be spread out and handled more like a larger project if several customers were interested.
“These protections are in place so that we don’t make uneconomic investments that would cause us to raise our rates,” Brominski said.
Brominski said request similar to Guzofsky’s can be made by visiting UGI’s website at www.UGI.com, or by calling (800) 276-2722.