SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Eversource will be adding hundreds of thousands of customers to their list as they take over natural gas services around the state.
According to a news release from Eversource, the $1.1 billion purchase of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts transaction is complete. The transition will include serving more than 300,000 new customers 110 communities across Massachusetts, Columbia Gas previously served in more than 60 communities.
The energy company is focused on ensuring a safe and seamless transition for its new customers, communities, municipal leaders and other stakeholders.
“This acquisition is a great fit for our company, our new customers and Massachusetts, delivering strategic benefits to those customers through our unwavering commitment to safety, superior service and sustainability,” said Eversource Chairman, President and CEO Jim Judge. “We thank the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities for their thorough consideration and approval of this acquisition, and we can’t wait to hit the ground running to ensure a safe and smooth transition for our new customers and employees.”
The Columbia Gas deal was first announced in February. It’s the same time when the company was ordered to pay $53 million in fines over the 2018 gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley that killed one person, injuring many others. Thousands of residents and businesses were without natural gas service including heat and hot water for months.
Under the agreement, liabilities related to the September 2018 gas explosion will remain the responsibility of Columbia Gas’ parent company, NiSource.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and representatives from the two companies held a news conference at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon at the Eversource service center in Springfield. They discusses what this will mean for Eversource and Columbia Gas customers.
This acquisition delivers a number of significant benefits to customers, including:
- Ownership by a larger, locally-focused company with expertise and resources to excel at delivering safe and reliable energy for customers
- Improved safety and reliability through additional investments in infrastructure upgrades
- The advantage of locally-based gas dispatch and emergency response in Massachusetts
- Expanded opportunities to benefit from Eversource’s #1 in the nation energy efficiency programs
- Improved potential to participate in demand response and other clean energy initiatives
- Potential for reduced gas supply costs and increased reliability through portfolio optimization and management
- A commitment to maintain safe and reliable operations
- Strong financial profile with access to Eversource’s top-tier credit ratings, which helps to lower infrastructure financing costs for customers
“We have a strong track record of investing in infrastructure to deliver benefits to our customers and significantly improve the reliability and safety of our systems,” said Eversource Gas President Bill Akley. “Our commitment to operational excellence and superior customer service will create value for customers, employees, shareholders, and the communities we serve.”
Eversource will maintain the Columbia Gas of Massachusetts phone number 800-688-6160 and customers can continue to use ColumbiaGasMA.com.