Forum with Yankee Gas in New Canaan: ‘Get Them the Concrete Numbers’

New Canaanites are calling for harder numbers and timetables behind projected cost-savings in natural gas conversion—for example, how much it will cost to convert a home of X square feet that lays Y feet from a main line, and exactly when service will come to each property—prior to committing to Yankee Gas to the degree that the utility needs in order to put a shovel in the ground here. Yankee Gas said during a panel discussion at New Canaan Library Monday evening that it wants to have natural gas service available in New Canaan starting this fall. That service would start by following a roughly 5-mile main up from Stamford along Ponus Ridge, running the length of Frogtown Road, jogging down Weed, running from the top of Elm to South Avenue and then out to the high school. At first, the line would serve many New Canaan businesses in the heart of our downtown, as well as a lot of big town buildings near the route (Town Hall, Police Department, South, Saxe and the high school) and possibly the YMCA. Yet even those buildings no longer carry enough of the natural gas load to reasonably offset, in the eyes of state regulators, the cost of doing the infrastructure work here, according to Paul Zohorsky, vice president of gas operations at Northeast Utilities (which owns Berlin, CT-based Yankee Gas).