Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project:
Natural Gas is widely viewed as an affordable fuel that has low greenhouse gas emissions. As of April 2013, natural gas costs 43% less than fuel oil and 56% less than propane, thereby providing a significant cost advantage to our customers. Vermont Gas currently operates 750 miles of underground transmission and distribution pipeline that serve Chittenden and Franklin Counties. During the past year, we have been working to design and permit a 41-mile pipeline extension to bring natural gas service to Middlebury and Vergennes. Known as Phase I of the Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project (“ARNGP”), this project will bring clean and affordable energy to the region in a manner that maximizes economic, environmental and reliability benefits to stakeholders. Preliminary planning for Phase II (an extension of the transmission line to Ticonderoga, NY) is presently underway.
The Project Goal:
To expand natural gas service to Addison County and Rutland County in a manner that maximizes economic, environmental and reliability benefits to stakeholders — while maintaining a strong competitive advantage, excellent customer satisfaction, superior safety and positions Vermont Gas for future expansion.
The Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project will:
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Lower heating and energy costs.
- Reduce Vermont’s reliance on foreign oil sources.
- Increase energy efficiency.
- Lead to enhanced economic development opportunities in town and village centers in Addison County and Rutland County.
- Reduce truck traffic, thereby reducing air pollution and impacts on Vermont roadways.
Addison County, Rutland County & Natural Gas:
In response to requests from community leaders and a number of Addison and Rutland County businesses, Vermont Gas is developing plans to expand its service. Initially, service will be provided to the Vergennes and Middlebury markets, with the intent to extend service to Rutland County in the future.
Natural gas expansion in Addison County and Rutland County will save customers $200 million over 20 years. Additionally, natural gas service is highly desirable for business and economic development and will serve to help the area create and retain jobs.
34% of Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions come from residential, commercial and industrial heating. Because natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, switching from oil or propane to natural gas results in a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Phase I of the project will reduce Vermont’s greenhouse gas production by 300,000 tons over 20 years.
Ticonderoga Paper Mill Project Overview
International Paper’s Ticonderoga Mill is located on the shore of Lake Champlain in New York, less than one-half mile from Vermont. More than 15% of the wood supplied to the mill comes from sustainably-managed Vermont forests. The mill has 600 employees and an additional 700 independent loggers and truckers from New York and Vermont who directly earn a living by providing wood and fiber to the mill.
After the Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project was launched, International Paper contacted Vermont Gas. Conversion to natural gas as a primary purchased fuel will lower energy costs for the mill and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Vermont Gas has entered into an agreement with International Paper to provide gas to the mill in 2015 (the Phase II portion of the ARNGP) at no cost to Vermont residents or Vermont Gas customers.
Phase II will bring the transmission pipeline 17 miles closer to Rutland allowing Vermont Gas to serve Rutland 15-years sooner than previously planned. This project will also strengthen and support the regional economy, including the Vermont forest industry, by providing a major employer with affordable and clean energy.