ATLANTA, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Atlanta Gas Light received approval from the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) today on a new program designed to encourage economic growth and spur the addition of new customers under the Georgia Strategic Infrastructure Development and Enhancement Program or (STRIDE). The new program will not increase monthly rates to consumers, but instead will be collected through the existing STRIDE surcharge for an additional three years.
The program, known as the Integrated Customer Growth Program or i-CGP, will allow Atlanta Gas Light to invest up to $45 million to extend its pipeline facilities to serve customers without pipeline access. The new program will also allow Atlanta Gas Light to install pipelines to create new economic development corridors in order to help spur growth.
The new line extension program under i-CGP is available for both residential and commercial customers. Currently many customers that want natural gas service and who are not located near an existing pipeline are required to make a cash payment to have service established. This has been a significant disincentive, particularly under the current economic conditions. The i-CGP program will reduce or eliminate this requirement for many potential customers.
The new strategic corridor development program will allow Atlanta Gas Light to make major investments to extend its gas distribution facilities to areas where growth is forecasted, or to locations where existing development does not have access to natural gas. This will be a new resource that will allow Atlanta Gas Light to work with state and local economic development officials to attract new business, with the potential of bringing jobs to Georgia.
"The Georgia Public Service Commission has given Atlanta Gas Light a new regulatory framework to restore growth on our system and help keep the pressure to increase rates down," said Suzanne Sitherwood, president, Atlanta Gas Light. "It also allows us to be a partner to spur economic development in more communities throughout the state where natural gas service is not presently available."
To avoid an increase in monthly rates due to the program, i-CGP will extend the duration of the STRIDE program by three years.
Atlanta Gas Light received approval from the PSC for its STRIDE program in October. STRIDE will install new pipeline and liquefied natural gas facilities throughout metro Atlanta to improve system reliability and operational performance on peak demand days. The first three year construction program of $175.7 million is underway and should be completed by 2012.
About Atlanta Gas Light
Atlanta Gas Light, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources (NYSE: AGL), provides natural gas delivery service to more than 1.5 million customers in Georgia. In operation since 1856, the company is one of the oldest corporations in the state. For more information, visit www.atlantagaslight.com.
About AGL Resources
AGL Resources (NYSE: AGL), an Atlanta-based energy services company, serves approximately 2.3 million customers in six states. The company also owns Houston-based Sequent Energy Management, an asset manager serving natural gas wholesale customers throughout North America. As an 85 percent owner in the SouthStar partnership, AGL Resources markets natural gas to consumers in Georgia under the Georgia Natural Gas brand. The company also owns and operates Jefferson Island Storage & Hub, a high-deliverability natural gas storage facility near the Henry Hub in Louisiana. For more information, visit www.aglresources.com.
Certain expectations and projections regarding our future performance referenced in this press release are forward-looking statements. Forward - looking statements involve matters that are not historical facts and because these statements involve anticipated events or conditions, forward-looking statements often include words such as "anticipate," "assume," "believe," "can," "could," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "future," "goal," "indicate," "intend," "may," "outlook," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "seek," "should," "target," "would," or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, without limitation, the expected schedule and results of our STRIDE program infrastructure improvements over its currently contemplated 10-year term and the projected economic and other benefits to our customers and others. Our expectations are not guarantees and are based on currently available competitive, financial and economic data along with our operating plans. While we believe our expectations are reasonable in view of the currently available information, our expectations are subject to future events, risks and uncertainties, and there are several factors - many beyond our control - that could cause results to differ significantly from our expectations.
Such events, risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, changes in price, supply and demand for natural gas and related products; the impact of changes in state and federal legislation and regulation including changes related to climate change; actions taken by government agencies on rates and other matters; utility and energy industry consolidation; the impact on cost and timeliness of construction projects by government and other approvals, development project delays, adequacy of supply of diversified vendors, and unexpected change in project costs, including the cost of funds to finance these projects; direct or indirect effects on our business, financial condition or liquidity resulting from a change in our credit ratings or the credit ratings of our counterparties or competitors; interest rate fluctuations; financial market conditions, including recent disruptions in the capital markets and lending environment and the current economic downturn; the impact of natural disasters such as hurricanes on the supply and price of natural gas; acts of war or terrorism; and other factors which are described in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which we incorporate by reference in this press release. Forward-looking statements are only as of the date they are made, and we do not undertake to update these statements to reflect subsequent changes.
SOURCE AGL Resources