"If we want to clean the environment and we want to be competitive for jobs, and if you want to be conservation on things like taxes, then bringing about more reliable energy has to part of that,"said Govenor Dannel Malloy
The Town of Wilton is the first community in the state to partner with a utility company through Connecticut's Comprehensive Energy Strategy to bring cleaner, cheaper fuel to its residents.
First Selectman Bil Brennan said, "We recognized that gas was going to be cheaper over the next 30 years verses oil. We had natural gas to a certain point in our town but we wanted to get it extended."
The First Selectman, Governor Dannel Malloy and representatives from Yankee Gas launched the start of the large-scale natural gas expansion project Monday morning at Wilton Town Hall.
"We have an abundant source of natural gas, lost cost, less than half the cost of oil sitting to our west,"said Tom May, Chairman, President & CEO of Northeast Utilities.
Rod Powell, President of Yankee Gas said, "The conversion of Middlebrook and Cider Mill Schools, Wilton High School, the Comstock Community Center and the town library will estimate that the town will save up to $400,000 annually on just converting those facilities."
The Wilton gas expansion project involves the installation of a 3.5-mile underground pipeline along existing roads to connect natural gas to Wilton’s downtown business district, municipal buildings, several schools.
Wilton’s Energy Commission estimates that by converting to natural gas, the town will save approximately $500,000 annually in energy costs.
"We expect this will have a very material cost reduction savings for our town. When we can save half a million dollars every year, that will impact our property taxes as well. It will keep a lid on our property tax increase so it's very important for our residents too," said First Selectman Brennan.
Senator Bob Duff expects to work with other utility companies and expand the program.
"To map out really what they will be doing throughout the State of Connecticut work with them piece by piece so that we can stand places like this today all across the State announcing these great initiatives,"said Duff.
"Three, four and five years from now, when we have a modern transmission system bringing plentiful natural gas into Connecticut, we are all going to benefit," said Malloy.
Yankee Gas says construction of the pipelines will be complete at the end of November.