KULPMONT — Kulpmont’s postcard campaign for natural gas successfully drew UGI Utilities’s attention and a select number of borough residents will be provided with natural gas as early as 2018 as part of the Growth Extension Tarriff (GET gas) program.
Borough officials met with Rep. Kurt Masser (R-107), Sen. John Gordner (R-27), representatives from Rep. Lou Barletta’s (R-11) office and three representatives from UGI on Friday to develop a plan to extend natural gas service through the pilot program.
In July, Stephen Motyka, council vice president, began a postcard campaign, having 1,330 mailings sent out asking residents if they would be interested in switching to natural gas. UGI received 168 responses, an approximate 17 percent return which is above the national average of 2 percent for “return requested mail.”
“UGI came to us and said we’re at the top of their list because of all the work we’ve done over the last couple of years keeping the attention on Kulpmont,” said Motyka.
The pilot program will feature the 800, 900 and 1000 blocks of Pine Street thanks to 11.2 percent of residents on that street responding. Spruce Street was a close second with 11.1 percent of surveys returned.
Motyka said UGI will approach everyone on the three blocks and as part of the GET Gas program, they will receive an incremental monthly surcharge on their bill of $21.75 for up to 10 years. UGI will hook up gas for free in the homes, with the surcharge helping residents avoid significant up-front costs.
The five-year $75 million pilot program is now in its third year, so Motyka said it’s possible the three blocks on Pine Street may be the borough’s only section funded under the program.
In a press release, Robert Stoyko, UGI vice president of public relations, said, “UGI is looking forward to working with officials from the Borough of Kulpmont to bring this project to fruition. We think this represents an excellent opportunity to bring this clean, plentiful, low-cost and locally produced energy resource to more residents and business in Pennsylvania.”
According to UGI, a typical resident converting from oil to natural gas saves approximately $1,100 annually.
Motyka encourages residents to continue to submit postcards to UGI stating their desire for natural gas. If they no longer have a postcard, more are available at the borough building, or contact UGI directly at www.ugi.com or 1-800-276-2722.