Natural gas likely in New Canaan by 2018
Updated 7:02 pm, Wednesday, May 24, 2017
NEW CANAAN — After 10 years of talk, the first natural gas lines may be in New Canaan by summer 2018.
As conversations between Eversource and town officials continue, it was announced the expected route for a pipeline into town — along Hillcrest Road and Springwater and Adams lanes — has changed.
According to First Selectman Robert Mallozzi III, Eversource is now eyeing Route 106 as the preferred route into town.
“We’re still talking with them. Their first foray into town is just going to be getting into the schools. It’s not until they get here that they’ll do their outreach and figure out how many customers they have,” Mallozzi said.
In time, Mallozzi said Eversource has indicated they hope to spread into New Canaan, beyond the 4.7 miles of pipe that is planned to be laid beginning at the border line with Stamford on Route 106 and across Farm Road, where it will connect with New Canaan High School, Saxe Middle School, South School, Waveny Care Center and the New Canaan YMCA, according to Director of Public Works Tiger Mann. East Elementary School may also be included in that list, though Mann said it was uncertain at this point.
The public buildings along the route have all been equipped with dual fuel-burning furnaces equipped to handle natural gas, Mallozzi said, meaning the town’s contribution to building the infrastructure is complete.
The result could be major savings on energy costs for the town, as well as residents.
“Oil prices have come down, but gas prices remain historically low. There would be significant savings for town buildings and homes,” Mallozzi said, though he said residential homeowners would need to invest in gas-burning furnaces before making the utilities switch.
Discussions between the town and Eversource — at the time Yankee Gas — began roughly 10 years ago, according to Mallozzi and Mann.
“A lot of it had to do with Eversource. They couldn’t find a route. A lot of the hurdles early on had to do with how they were going to come in and actually bring gas to us,” Mann said.
Mallozzi is hopeful that by incorporating large town-owned buildings, Eversource will have plenty of incentive to move into New Canaan.
“By letting them come in here and get larger users, given them the ability to spread out the gas line,” Mallozzi said.
Eversource officials confirmed continued conversation, but said it was too early to disclose any details.
“While we have a preferred route and continue to exchange and share information with the town, there is still a lot to do. Until all aspects of the proposed project are agreed upon, it would be inappropriate to provide any details. We continue working hard on our plan and remain optimistic that we will be able to bring natural gas to the town soon,” a statement from Eversource said.