Washington-Nile School switches to natural gas

January 24, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

The Washington-Nile Local School Board voted during their meeting Wednesday evening to move forward with converting the school campus’ heating systems from propane to natural gas. Superintendent Jeff Stricklett said converting to natural gas will save the district $40,000 each year on heating costs.

Propane was previously provided to the school by Arrick’s Propane in Lucasville.

“We’re very, very happy with Arrick’s. Natural gas is just so much cheaper, and it’s a big savings to the district,” Stricklett said.

The natural gas service will be provided by Knox Energy Cooperative association. According to the Knox Energy website (www.knoxenergy.org), the company is a 501(c)(12) non-profit, member-owned company founded in 1998 by a small group of homeowners in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Today, Knox Energy Cooperative provides natural gas service for over 400 residences in the local community.

The school will pay $50,000 for Utility Pipeline Ltd. (UPL) to construct the two-mile long mainline extension heading southwest on U.S. 52 in early February.

“It is our goal to complete the mainline extension, service line work, and connect the school to our services without disturbing the school children’s routine,” said Bob Wentzel, COO of Utility Pipeline Ltd.

Established in 1995, UPL is a natural gas distribution management company that operates and maintains gas distribution systems on a third party basis in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana. Currently UPL serves over 35,000 distribution customers in over 150 individual systems. More information about the company is available on its website, at www.utilitypipelineltd.com.

Once the mainline extension is complete, Knox Energy will provide natural gas to the district. Stricklett did not know exactly how much it would cost the school each year, but said it will be a significant savings over propane. Aside from just being a more cost effective way to heat the school, he said natural gas is a domestically produced product that is also an extremely important source of energy for reducing pollution and maintaining a clean and healthy environment.

Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com.