For Release: 05/20/2013
Peoples Gas Welcomes Legislation Granting Illinois Commerce Commission Powers to Allow Accelerated Natural Gas Infrastructure Investments
Senate Bill 2266 Maintains Thousands of Jobs, Improves Safety & Reliability
CHICAGO - May 20, 2013 - Peoples Gas welcomes legislation introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives that will enable utility companies to accelerate the replacement of aging, natural gas infrastructure throughout the state. The bill ensures that the investment needed in Illinois' aging gas infrastructure can occur at an accelerated pace and gives the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) the authority to review and approve recovery for investments made to modernize the state's natural gas delivery systems in a timely manner.
"The passage of this bill will allow Peoples Gas to continue its accelerated pipeline modernization program, ";said Will Evans,President of Peoples Gas. "Our $2.5 billion investment will make natural gas delivery safer, more reliable. It will be better for the environment, and it will protect over 1,000 newly created jobs."
"This legislation is the result of months of negotiations," said state Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg), sponsor of the bill. "Through honest and diligent discussions with a number of stakeholders, we were able to draft a bill that will benefit the entire state with better services, improved safety measures and provide many working families with good paying jobs."
The 2013 Natural Gas Consumer, Safety & Reliability Act (SB 2266) provides funding for Illinois gas infrastructure upgrades through a small adjustment on customer bills, approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission. The proposed legislation contains strong consumer protections, increases transparency and accountability and caps customer impact due to main replacement costs at an annual average of 4% of delivery service rates. Critically, the ICC maintains its oversight function. Annual reviews and reporting requirements are built into the legislation. Only costs related to the infrastructure improvements will be granted. The program will also reduce costs through lower future operational expenses, and lower long term costs for debt, reducing interest expenses for customers.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has recommended to state regulators across the country that they accelerate the replacement of old pipes made of materials prone to degradation and failure with newer, more reliable and stable polyethylene pipes that not only enhance safety but also improve services for consumers and allow for the adoption of more energy efficient appliances. The new pipes will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions from leaking methane, which is 20 times as potent as CO2.
About Peoples Gas
Peoples Gas, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE: TEG ), is a regulated natural gas delivery company that serves approximately 829,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the city of Chicago.
In 2011, Peoples Gas embarked on their Accelerated Main Replacement Project (AMRP) and plans to spend over $2.5bn to replace nearly 1000 miles of natural gas pipelines over the next 10 years.
For more information about Peoples Gas, visit the company's website: www.peoplesgasdelivery.com.
For More Information, Contact:
- Jennifer Block
Director, Media Relations
Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas