An effort to bring local gas to local people is continuing in Susquehanna County.
Over the last two years, a company has spent about $15 million to connect homes and businesses with the natural gas that is coming from the Marcellus Shale region.
That investment is now starting to pay off.
It has been about seven or eight years since the drilling boom started in northeastern Pennsylvania.
For a large chunk of that time, there had been a big disconnect: the people who live in the northern tier where most of the gas is coming from couldn’t even benefit from it.
From the outside, the Meadows at Tiffany Pines housing development near Montrose may look like any other but in reality it is somewhat unique.
The 40-unit townhouse complex is among the first developments in Susquehanna County to be powered by natural gas coming from the ground in this area.
“The homeowners here have more disposable income, less of their money has to go to pay for their energy bills,” Cabot Oil & Gas spokesman George Stark said.
The effort to bring local gas to local people has been underway for more than a year now thanks to the Leatherstocking Gas Company.
The company has invested $15 million to build pipelines and connect local homes and businesses with natural gas.
More and more communities like Great Bend, Hallstead and Susquehanna Depot all want to sign on.
“New Milford is high up on our list. They wanted it this year but we were slowed down by the permitting process,” Leatherstocking CEO Mike German said.
Leatherstocking gave reporters a rare glimpse inside one of its gate stations Tuesday afternoon in the Kingsley-area.
The facility takes gas from a nearby compressor station, odorizes it and reduces the pressure which allows it to be shipped to area homes and businesses.
“We’ve been averaging about five customers a day coming on. At this time of year, it’s unheard of,” Russell Miller, VP of Gas Supply & Marketing with Leatherstocking said.
So far, about 270 homes, businesses and schools have been able to connect to pipelines that are being built.
For the new Endless Mountains Hospital, officials say the savings have been significant.
They peg the savings at an estimated $250,000 in the first year.
“Especially for a small, rural hospital, that’s definitely real money to us,” CEO Rex Catlin said.
Leatherstocking Gas Company says it has already built 14 miles of new pipeline in Susquehanna County and about two miles in the Wyalusing-area of Bradford County.