I live along the pipeline route outside of the limits of Dayton or Ranchester. Can I connect to the gas pipeline?

Initially, TR Valley Gas will only be authorized to serve customers within Dayton and Ranchester. To serve out-of-town customers would require a Certificate of Public Convenience from the Wyoming Public Service Commission or a legislative action. TR Valley Gas will continue to pursue both options and plans to serve out-of-town customers after the initial project phase.

I live out of town along one of the county roads where the gas pipeline will be installed. Is it possible to provide a connection tee or stub out for a future connection?

Since the pipeline generally will be installed by plowing, to minimize disturbance and save cost, it is not possible to install tap tees during the installation of the distribution pipeline. However, the pipeline will be outside of the graveled roadway and will be relatively easy to excavate and tap in the future.

A portion of my property is within town limits and a portion outside of town. Can I connect?

Generally, TR Valley Gas will be able to extend service and install a meter at the portion of your property within the limits of Dayton or Ranchester. It would be up to you to run the gas piping to the point(s) of use on your property.

How much will the natural gas cost?

The estimated natural gas price is $12.03 per dekatherm (Dth) for residential/small commercial customers and $11.63 per Dth for large commercial customers. This is based on the current (October 2017) cost of gas to TR Valley Gas from MDU. The actual cost of gas will fluctuate based on the MDU cost.

Is there a monthly service fee?

Yes. The service fee for residential and small commercial customers will be $15 per month, which is similar to a typical propane tank rental charge. The service fee for large commercial customers will be $40 per month.

How much could I save compared to propane or electric heat?

Based on current (October 2017) propane costs, the cost of propane is about twice that of natural gas (about $23.40 per Dth compared with about $12 per Dth for natural gas). Based on the MDU residential electric rate for Wyoming, the current cost of electric heat is more than twice that of natural gas (about $26.70 per Dth compared with about $12 per Dth for natural gas).

Click here for more information on the comparison of costs between natural gas, propane, and electricity.

When will I be able to connect?

TR Valley Gas is currently working with WWC Engineering to finalize the design and permitting. The project is anticipated to go to bid this spring, with construction commencing in summer 2018. Connections should begin in early 2019.

Will the service lines be installed at the same time as the gas mains?

The mains are typically installed first and then pressure tested to ensure there are no leaks. This would typically occur in segments of two or three blocks at one time. When the pressure testing is complete, tapping tees and service lines are installed along with the meters. All of this would occur within a relatively close timespan, but it would not likely be done by the same crew in one operation.

Is it possible to install the service line and meter but not start using gas until a later date?

Billing would start once the service line and meter loop are installed and ready to use. If no gas is used, the customer would typically be charged the minimum monthly service fee to recoup TR Valley Gas’ investment in the service.

What is the connection cost?

For residential and small commercial customers, if you sign up for service by January 31, 2018, you will pay a $100 connection fee deposit and a connection fee balance of $270 at the time of connection. The total is $370, which represents a 50% match from TR Valley Gas on the total cost of $740. If you require a larger meter or a longer service line than the 80-foot standard line, you will pay the cost difference ($2 per foot for the service line and the actual cost of the meter upgrade). For large commercial users, the connection fee deposit will be $200 if you sign up by January 31, 2018, and the balance due at the time of connection will be $300.

Click here to view the full Connection Fee and Deposit Schedule.

If natural gas service won’t be available until early 2019, why does TR Valley Gas want customers to sign up by January 2018?

Most of the project funding will come from a USDA Rural Development loan, and one of the loan conditions requires TR Valley Gas to sign up at least 212 residential customers and 42 commercial customers before beginning construction. Therefore, we are offering incentives for those who sign up early.

Click here to view the full Connection Fee and Deposit Schedule detailing incentives for early sign-up.

Will I still be able to connect if I don’t sign up for service by January 31, 2018?

TR Valley Gas will accept new customers at any time. However, we are offering an incentive for those who sign up for service by January 31, 2018. If you sign up after this date, the out-of-pocket cost will increase by $285 for residential/small commercial customers and $450 for larger commercial customers.

Click here to view the full Connection Fee and Deposit Schedule detailing incentives for early sign-up.

I have a house and business on my property. Will I be considered a residential or commercial customer?

Commercial customers will include any entity engaged in the operation of an enterprise, whether or not for profit. Therefore, you would be considered a commercial customer. However, the rate for residential and small commercial customers is the same.

I have a house and shop on my property. Do I need to apply for separate service for each building?

Typically, you will have one gas meter, and gas will be supplied to that meter. If you want to serve other buildings on your property, you will not be required to apply for separate service as long as only one meter is needed. However, you will be responsible for the cost of all piping and connections after the meter.

I need two meters on my property to serve separate boilers. Would I need to sign up for separate service for each meter?

Yes. TR Valley Gas would need to purchase, install, and bill the two meters, so each would be set up on a separate customer account. If only one service line is needed to serve both meters, it might be possible to receive some up-front capital credit during installation.

How do I determine whether I am a small or large commercial customer?

Small commercial customers are those with comparable usage to residential service (peak usage less than 500 standard cubic feet of gas per hour). This will include most businesses and government buildings. Large commercial customers are those requiring meters capable of delivering more than 500 standard cubic feet of gas per hour. Schools, community centers and some churches, government buildings and businesses will be large commercial customers. TR Valley Gas will work with commercial customers to determine whether they will require small or large commercial service.

I have a multi-unit apartment complex that will be served by a single meter. Will I be a small or large commercial customer?

TR Valley Gas will work with you to make that determination prior to installation. As a rule of thumb, four to six apartments may be served by a small commercial meter; however, the actual size would need to be determined based on the furnace sizes in the apartments.

I am a large commercial customer. How do I determine my meter and service line size?

TR Valley Gas will work with you to make that determination prior to installation.

When will TR Valley Gas determine the size of my service line and meter?

Nearly every residential customer will need a 250-size meter (standard size). At the time of connection, we will request each customer to list the types of gas appliances present. Additional information may need to be gathered for appliances other than furnaces, water heaters, and stoves (e.g., hot tubs, tankless water heaters, kilns, etc.).

I have a propane furnace or boiler. Can it be converted to run on natural gas?

Most propane furnaces can be converted to natural gas at a relatively low cost (typically about $100 plus the cost of a service call from your HVAC provider).

Is it acceptable for me to change the orifices on the appliances within my house myself?

Nearly every residential customer will need a 250-size meter (standard size). At the time of connection, we will request each customer to list the types of gas appliances present. Additional information may need to be gathered for appliances other than furnaces, water heaters, and stoves (e.g., hot tubs, tankless water heaters, kilns, etc.).

How much can I expect to pay to replace my furnace if it can’t be converted?

The cost of a new furnace will depend on a variety of factors such as the size of your home or business and furnace efficiency. A typical price range is about $2,000 to $4,000 for a new residential furnace.

Can my propane water heater be converted to run on natural gas?

Propane water heaters cannot usually be converted to gas unless the owner kept the original conversion parts. A new water heater is typically needed.

Do tankless water heaters typically require larger meters?

Tankless water heaters use up about 80% of the capacity of a 250-size meter (standard size). Adding a furnace or other load to a house with a tankless water heater typically requires increasing the meter to a 425-size meter at an added cost of about $300. Other components including the 1-inch service line and pressure regulator are usually adequate for this larger meter.

How much will it cost to purchase a new gas water heater?

Typical costs are about $500 to $750. There may be additional cost to plumb gas piping from the meter to the water heater.

Can my propane stove be converted to run on natural gas?

Most propane stoves can be converted to natural gas at a relatively low cost (typically about $100).

Is the propane piping within my house suitable for natural gas?

House piping for existing propane users should be adequate for gas; black iron ¾ or 1-inch pipe is the best; copper pipe is not allowed for natural gas service by most building codes.

Will I be required to have a pressure test conducted on the gas piping within the house before initiating gas service?

The meter loop will be set along with all of the associated piping to the house, but gas service will be initiated only after a successful pressure test on the house piping. All appliances are usually disconnected, and the piping must hold a specified pressure for a certain length of time. The testing is usually done by the plumber or HVAC technician doing the conversion or piping work on behalf of the home or business owner, and the utility will witness the test before starting gas service.

Can the piping from my propane tank be used as part of my service line?

Propane service lines can usually be reused if installed within about the last 20 years. If it is high density polyethylene, it can usually be reused, as long as the diameter is at least ¾ inch. TR Valley Gas can work with you to determine whether it can be used.

When allowing 80 feet for a standard service line, where does this measurement begin?

Mains are usually in the public road or alley right-of-way, but they could be across a road from a customer’s property. TR Valley Gas will work to ensure that customers are not penalized for being on the opposite side of a road from the main.

Can I decide where the meter will be installed on my house or business?

The meter should be placed near a building wall in a somewhat direct line from the main, whether the main runs in front of or behind the property. The meter is usually as close as possible to the utility or furnace room. There are restrictions on proximity to windows, doors, and other openings to the house. If all of these conditions are met, the customer can express a preference for the meter location.

What will happen to my propane tank?

Most propane tanks are rented from the supplier. In this case, the tank will be returned when no longer needed. If you own your tank, there will typically be resale value. As the project progresses, TR Valley Gas will provide more information on its website.

Where will TR Valley Gas purchase the natural gas?

The gas will be purchased from MDU.

Why was it necessary to obtain a loan to construct the project?

TR Valley Gas made numerous attempts to obtain a higher proportion of grants through the State of Wyoming. Ultimately, this resulted in a $100,000 grant to complete the engineering study and another $300,000 grant for final design and construction. Since the project will cost about $4 million, it was necessary to evaluate other financing options. The USDA Rural Development loan offers the best financing rate (3.375%) and loan terms (37 years).

How many connections are needed to make the project financially viable?

The financial model included with the USDA Rural Development loan application shows that only about 30% of the residences will need to connect to pay off the loan and operate the utility. At the anticipated long-term conversion rate of 60-70%, additional money will be available to extend service to outlying areas or pay off the loan sooner.

Who will operate the natural gas utility project?

TR Valley Gas has a draft Operation & Maintenance agreement with MDU and plans to finalize this agreement before commencing construction.

Is there a risk that the gas connection location on the west side of Sheridan will have insufficient capacity for future demands?

There is adequate capacity today to serve all of the potential future demands in Dayton and Ranchester. However, since MDU cannot predict future growth in the Sheridan area, the draft sales agreement includes a provision that MDU could require TR Valley Gas to find an alternate or supplemental supply of gas if the distribution capacity is no longer available. At least 18 months’ notice is required, which would give TR Valley Gas time to plan for and extend an alternate supply line (such as around Sheridan to a higher pressure supply near East 5th Street).

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