Natural Gas Distribution Expanding in Northeast PA

Northeast PA is home to many natural gas wells and now it has the potential to be home to many natural gas consumers. Counties in this region are the center of natural gas production but many of their residents do not directly reap the benefits of the gas lying beneath their feet. However, that is starting to change as more and more energy distribution companies are looking to expand their natural gas distribution to this area.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved application by Leatherstocking Gas Co. and UGI Penn natural gas to service Dimock Township in Susquehanna County and Canaan Township in Wayne County. Leatherstocking Gas Co. will service the Elk Lake School District and residential customers in Dimock. UGI Penn Natural Gas will now be able to service the State Correctional Institution at Waymart in the Canaan Township of Wayne County.

Once the pipelines are in place in these counties and distributing to these larger buildings the hope is, residential customers can then tap into the lines already installed in their county. There are two types of lines directly involved with gas distribution to communities, Distribution pipelines and Service Pipelines.

A distribution line connects to transmission lines [high pressure lines that carry gas over long distances] and service lines. Also called “mains,” a distribution line operates with an intermediate pressure and range from 2 to 24 inches in diameter. Transmission pipelines are regulated by the FERC, or the Federal Energy Regulation Committee, while distribution lines are regulated by state utility commissions.

A service pipeline is most commonly less than 2 inches in diameter and connects to a meter that transports gas to individual customers. Service lines are made out of plastic, steel or copper.

 

By making natural gas service more readily available these providers are offering a low-cost and local energy alternative. There are many appliances that run more efficiently on natural gas compared to electricity. A simple example of natural gas efficiency is laundry. According to the American Gas Association, natural gas dryers can dry two loads for the same cost as one load run on electricity. This gas can also be used for home heating in place of wood, propane, or heating fuel burning methods.

Back in October of 2012, WNEP did a story about the possibility of natural gas service to counties such as Susquehanna and Wayne.

What was just a possibility less than two years ago is beginning to become a reality for these Pennsylvania consumers.

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Maria Turconi

Maria Turconi was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is currently pursuing a BA in Public Relations from Penn State University. Maria currently works as an Intern in External Affairs for Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation where her responsibilities include writing for Cabot's social media, scheduling content and event planning.

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