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Innovative “Targeted Area Buildout” to give approx. 2,100 homes and businesses opportunity to convert to natural gas
July 17, 2017
Sanford, ME

Unitil, the largest natural gas provider in Maine, has received approval to bring the opportunity to convert to natural gas to approximately 2,100 new homes and businesses in Sanford, Maine.  

The expansion program, approved last month by the Maine Public Utilities Commission, is the second of its kind in the state. Instead of asking prospective customers to pay an upfront conversion cost for the expansion, the "Targeted Area Buildout” or “TAB” surcharge would make the conversion cost part of a new customer’s monthly heating bill. For a residential heating customer, the surcharge would be approximately 10.42 cents per ccf of gas.

“We first launched this innovative new way to bring natural gas to new customers in Saco last year and we were incredibly pleased with the initial interest within the community,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “Eliminating the up-front expansion cost to customers helps lower that initial barrier to conversion, and we’re thrilled we are able to take this new way to bring a cleaner, more affordable heating option to customers in the City of Sanford.”

This new build-out would begin in 2018 and the Company anticipates approximately 17.5 miles of new gas main to be installed over the following three years. The expansion area will include Main Street from the new Sanford High School up to the location of the existing high and middle schools. From there, service will eventually extend over the Mousam River and up to Southern Maine Health Care on June and Cottage Street, as well as to side streets on either side of Main Street and Cottage Street. In order to make sure this expansion best fits the needs of Sanford, Unitil worked closely with both state and city officials on the overall plan design.

“Diversity in energy options is one of Sanford’s core initiatives,” states City Manager Steven Buck. “The City of Sanford continues to focus on fostering private sector expansions of services that will provide an economic advantage for business retention, growth, and attraction. Unitil’s unique TAB business model to extend services to otherwise unserved areas is to be commended. The fact that Unitil is now working in Sanford illustrates the City’s ability to partner with private business and highlights the ongoing economic expansion of our City that supports the TAB business model. I would like to recognize Unitil as a partner in our City’s economic future.”

As Maine’s newest city, Sanford has been working hard in the last few years on a number of significant foundational priorities. “We have been busy implementing key initiatives,” said Jim Nimon, Executive Director of the Sanford Regional Economic Growth Council, “including an ultra high speed fiber optic network, a new state of the art high school and technical center, city-wide improvements to elementary and middle schools, and an impressive utility-scale solar project on our airport. We believe that access to natural gas is another important piece of infrastructure for our local businesses and residents. Some local companies have told us they are already benefiting from switching to natural gas. We are pleased that Unitil’s multi-million dollar expansion will broaden Sanford’s tax base and allow other business and residential customers to have this option available to them.”

For more information on Unitil natural gas operations, visit http://unitil.com

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About Unitil Corporation

Unitil Corporation provides energy for life by safely and reliably delivering natural gas and electricity in New England. We are committed to the communities we serve and to developing people, business practices, and technologies that lead to the delivery of dependable, more efficient energy. Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company with operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Together, Unitil’s operating utilities serve approximately 104,300 electric customers and 79,900 natural gas customers. Other subsidiaries include Usource, Unitil’s non-regulated business segment. For more information about our people, technologies, and community involvement please visit www.unitil.com.

 


For more information please contact:
Alec O'Meara

Media Relations Manager
OMeara@unitil.com
Phone: 603-773-6404

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