ST. LOUIS, Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Laclede Gas Company is notifying its customers in St. Charles County and northern Jefferson County that, effective in September, they will be served by main divisions of the gas company rather than two divisions that have operated for years virtually in name only. The name "St. Charles Gas" will no longer be used, and more than 88,000 natural gas customers in St. Charles County will instead be served directly by Laclede Gas. The name "Midwest Missouri Gas" also will no longer be used, and more than 17,500 natural gas customers in northern Jefferson County will be served directly by Missouri Natural Gas, a division of Laclede Gas. Laclede Gas, a subsidiary of The Laclede Group (NYSE: LG), is the largest natural gas distribution company in Missouri, serving more than 630,000 customers in St. Louis and surrounding counties of eastern Missouri. This internal change will allow Laclede Gas to streamline its operations and enable the company to better meet the growing needs of the expanding population and development of St. Charles and Jefferson counties. The change will be seamless from a customer's perspective. Customers will notice only these changes: -- Monthly gas bills and other correspondence from their gas company will bear the name of Laclede Gas Company for customers in St. Charles County or Missouri Natural Gas Company for customers in northern Jefferson County, beginning September 10. -- When customers call the St. Charles telephone numbers, an employee will answer the telephone "Laclede Gas." In northern Jefferson County, customers will call Missouri Natural's Festus office and an employee will answer the telephone "Missouri Natural Gas." -- St. Charles customers will no longer be able to pay their bills in person at the St. Charles Gas business office in Westbury Square because the lease on the property is not being renewed. However, Laclede has made arrangements with the Schnuck's and Dierberg's grocery chains so that their stores now operate as full-service pay stations. This vastly increases the number of pay stations available for customers. Northern Jefferson County customers will be able to continue to pay their bills at the Festus office and the numerous pay stations in their area. "St. Charles customers already are familiar with Laclede Gas because the service technicians who have been coming to their homes wear Laclede uniforms and drive Laclede vehicles. After normal business hours, the customer service representatives who have been answering phone calls also work for Laclede Gas," said Richard N. Hargraves, Laclede's Director of Corporate Communications. "The same type of situation holds true for Midwest Missouri Gas customers, who are familiar with Missouri Natural Gas. In fact, Midwest has not had a separate business office for many years," Hargraves said. In addition, Laclede has moved into a significantly larger operations center at the I-70 Trade Center in the St. Peters area earlier this year, so that its construction, service and maintenance personnel would be more centrally located in fast-growing St. Charles County and to provide more room for its operations fleet.
SOURCE Laclede Gas Company