Integrys Energy Group,'s local subsidiary, Peoples Gas, has enlisted five different contractors, with over 1,000 combined workers, to help improve the Windy City's natural gas system.
"We are committed to upgrading Illinois' natural gas infrastructure over the next 10 years and we are sustaining around one thousand jobs through this important program," said Will Evans, president of Peoples Gas. "Consumers will also benefit from this investment, including improved safety, reliability, and long-term operating cost savings."
The modernization project got the regulatory thumbs up in July 2013, when Illinois regulators approved the Natural Gas Consumer, Safety & Reliability Act. The passing was seen as a major win for utilities in the state, allowing them to pass on some modernization costs directly to customers at an annual average of 4% of delivery service rates. According to Integrys, Illinois is the 29th state to pass such a law.
For Peoples Gas, that means its 829,000 customers will provide some of the financial push to pour $300 million into Chicago's pipelines.
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