"We're Ready for Y2K," InvestorOwned Natural Gas Utilities Say

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Washington, D.C.

 Investorowned natural gas utilities from across the United States have reported that they are ready to deliver natural gas to customers reliably despite Year 2000related challenges, with limited exceptions, and all report that they will be ready well before Dec. 31, according to the American Gas Association (AGA). AGA released today the results of its fourth and final survey of its member gas utilities' preparations for the Year 2000.

"We are extremely pleased that the investor-owned natural gas utilities that deliver most of the natural gas consumed in the United States have reported that they are ready for the Year 2000, following their determined efforts to identify, repair or replace and test their mission-critical systems," said Gary Gardner, AGA's chief information officer.

"Investorowned utilities have participated in drills and other readiness tests, sought independent audits of their Y2K preparations and collaborated with key partners to help maintain reliable service to homes and businesses. Put simply, the survey suggests that investorowned natural gas utilities are in terrific shape as the new year approaches," Gardner said.

AGA achieved a record response to the survey, tallying responses that represent 99 percent of the natural gas delivered by its investorowned natural gas utility members. The companies that participated in the survey deliver 94 percent of all of the natural gas delivered in the United States, Gardner said.

"The remaining issues for some utilities include finalizing contingency plans, completing tests of new systems and confirming supply chain and cooperation  none of which is expected to impede readiness," Gardner said

He noted that computerization has helped to enhance the efficiency of many natural gas utilities, and emphasized that these systems can be operated manually or mechanically for safety reasons. Nonetheless, Gardner explained, "All of the companies that responded to our survey say they will have backup plans in place and tested, and 99 percent will have staff on duty during the date rollover period."

Nine out of ten Americans believe that Y2K will not disrupt their natural gas service, according to a public opinion poll commissioned by AGA in midSeptember.

The American Gas Association (AGA) represents 189 investorowned and municipal natural gas utilities that serve customers in all 50 states. AGA members deliver natural gas to over 93 percent of the 60 million U.S. homes and businesses that use natural gas. For additional information, go to www.aga.org.

A Year 2000 Readiness Disclosure

-- Mild Mannered Reporter (Clark@super.duper), October 21, 1999

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