Natural gas services expand in Northeast Ohio

12:19 AM, Mar 5, 2013   |    comments
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NORTH RIDGEVILLE -- This winter, thousands of Northeast Ohioans have something they've never had before: natural gas heat.

Local gas companies are placing new pipelines in new neighborhoods every day.

Amy Koncelik with Columbia Gas says natural gas prices are near record lows.

"I think historically, the last two years, 2011 and 2012 have probably been the busiest we've been in terms of new business," Koncelik explains.

In 2012, Columbia Gas added 71 miles of pipeline in Ohio, connecting more than 8,000 new customers.

Dominion East added nearly 26 miles of pipeline, for nearly 5,800 customers.

Because of the proliferation of shale drilling -- also known as fracking -- the gas supply is growing.

Sue Crompton just had her home hooked up to gas heat in November.

"It's been warm. It stays warm all the time," Crompton says.

She says she's already noticed a difference over electricity, a savings of about $100 a month on her heating bill. 

"We had no problem with electric, but then the price started going up."

When the Cromptons moved into their North Ridgeville subdivision in 2004, the only energy option was electric.

Crompton says the gas company began adding gas lines about 18 months ago, due to growing interest among homeowners.

Crompton says she and her husband jumped at the opportunity to sign up.

They paid for the line to be connected from the outside to the inside of the home, and paid for a new gas furnace. 

Columbia Gas brought in and paid for the neighborhood installation of the gas lines. The gas company considers it an investment when there is enough interest in one community.

The Cromptons haven't totally given up on electricity. They still use electricity for their cooking appliances and lighting. 

"But we have no regrets about getting gas."


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