New Canaanites Interested in Natural Gas Can Sign Up to Let Yankee Gas Know

New Canaan residents can now sign up for information and service requests if they're interested in making the jump to natural gas if and when the service becomes available in town. NewCanaan.info posted a link Wednesday morning that takes visitors to a Yankee Gas signup page.

Visitors to the site interested in making the switch are asked to fill out a brief survey detailing the location of their home or business and asked how quickly they would like to make the switch, be it immediately or even up to a year-and-a-half from now. The page was created to gauge public interest on making the switch and would be used to determine areas of "critical mass," said New Canaan Utilities Commission Chair Howard Freeman.

"Yankee Gas came and had a public meeting in October or so," Freeman said. "What they did is created this website, as I'm sure they do for every town considering natural gas, to determine the 'critical mass,' so to speak, by street and by neighborhood, of interested areas which, in the near future, could have access to this resource."

The introduction of natural gas in town is a project three years in the making, as New Canaan began exploring its options for tapping the Teneessee Gas Pipeline that runs through Waveny Park back in April of 2011. After a few years with no news on that front, the idea was resurrected in February of 2013.

The pipeline could immediately begin to benefit three town buildings and two private organizations nearby, initial plans showed: South School, Saxe Middle School and New Canaan High School, as well as the New Canaan YMCA and Waveny Care Center. Natural gas would provide an alternative to businesses in town currently relying on propane to power their cookware.

The project, which Freeman said could break ground as early as mid-March of 2014 and make its way to the center of town, is expected to save the town "hundreds of thousands of dollars" annually in expenses. Estimates put savings in the neighborhood of 50-percent on heating costs, according to previous comments from First Selectman Robert Mallozzi III.

The utility company was even anticipated to fit the bill for the first step of the project, a $2 million "gate station," on an inconspicuous stretch of land in Waveny Park.  Gate stations reduce the power of the gas being pumped through the pipeline by about 90-percent so it could be safely distributed to businesses and residents throughout a town.


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