The Gas Department
The Utilities Board owns, operates, and maintains a natural gas distribution system which is composed of 336 miles of steel, plastic, and cast iron main. We have a total of 6,712 services at the present time. Our service area extends in Talladega county along Alabama State Highway 21 from Talladega south thru Sylacauga along U.S. Highway 280 and the surrounding areas. In Coosa County, the Board continues to follow U.S. Highway 280 to just outside the city limits of AlexanderCity. We maintain a 200# high pressure system and a 18# low pressure system. We are closely regulated by the Alabama Public Service Commission, one of the strictest in our nation. We also fall under the Department of Transportation regulations. Both the APSC and the DOT insure that our system is kept in the most exacting manner to ensure public safety.
The Utilities Board has contracts to transport up to 14,500,000 cubic feet of gas per day on the Southern Natural Gas Pipeline and up to 10,000,000 cubic feet of gas per day on the Transco Gas Pipeline. We purchase natural gas directly from producers and transport this gas across the Southern Natural pipeline system. Spot market purchases beginning in 1987 along with rate reductions have permitted the Board to reduce its' price of gas to a level well below the Board's 1986 gas cost. During 1997, the Board completed construction of a ten inch high pressure main which will connect to Transcontinental Pipeline near Alexander City, Alabama. This gives the Utilities Board a competitive advantage in purchasing and transporting its natural gas requirements. The Board utilizes a Monthly Purchased Gas Adjustment to flow through changes in its purchased gas cost.
In 1989 the Utilities Board began an aggressive marketing program. We have added 112 miles of main and 825 new services. This program is aimed at adding gas customers in areas where the Board does not have electric service but is in a position to provide gas service. The Board is currently offering special incentives for customers who replace their present water heater with one fueled by natural gas.
In November 2000 the Board start providing natural gas service to Teksid Aluminum Foundry. Teksid produces cylinder heads, cylinder blocks and intake manifolds for a number of automobile companies. With an initial peak usage of 2,200 MMBtu per day, Teksid is the Board's third largest customer. In May 2001 the Board started providing natural gas service to Honda Manufacturing of Alabama in Lincoln, Alabama. Beginning in May 2004 the Board will provide interruptible natural gas service to a new electric generating plant owned by the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA). This 97 MW plant will operate in summer months and have a peak day demand of 16,500 MMBtu. This plant will greatly enhance the Board's annual load factor in that historically the Board has a winter peak and the new plant will operate in the summer months.