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Bitter Cold Drove Pennsylvania’s UGI to February Delivery Record

Reading, PA-based UGI Utilities Inc. set a February record last month as bitterly cold temperatures caused Pennsylvanians to run to their thermostats.

The company delivered record volumes of natural gas to its 610,000 gas customers during the extreme cold temperatures experienced in February.

Temperatures during the month were 35% colder than normal across UGI's service territory. Through that period, UGI delivered 28.9 Bcf of gas, which is nearly 8% more than was delivered in the same period in 2014 and 28% higher than the amount of natural gas delivered in the previous coldest February, in 2007.

Sendout in February nearly matched UGI Utilities all-time record set in January 2014.

"Extreme cold temperatures experienced in our Pennsylvania service territory, combined with strong customer growth led to record demand on our natural gas distribution system," said CEO Robert F. Beard. UGI Utilities serves gas and electric customers in 45 Pennsylvania counties and one county in Maryland.

Also last month, Columbia Pipeline Group's Hardy Storage Co. felt the pull of winter's chill during February as evidenced by multiple customer notices setting "critical days" mid-month. "Based on extreme cold, storage withdrawal capacity and on forecasted firm storage withdrawal requirements, Transporter projects that all available storage withdrawal capacity will be required to meet firm service obligations," the company said in one notice. "Transporter projects no availability of interruptible storage services. All penalties apply."

Dominion Transmission Inc. also had storage-related warnings for customers.

"Due to current and anticipated system conditions, customers are reminded to monitor contractual storage entitlements and take the necessary steps to manage deliveries within those firm entitlements," the company said in a Feb. 6 notice. "Transportation customers are also advised to equalize receipts and deliveries so as to minimize imbalances on DTI's system."

In its weekly posting Columbia Gas Transmission, one of the two largest storage operators in the East showed it had about 52 Bcf of working gas remaining in storage on March 6, only 5 Bcf more than was available as winter was winding down at the same time last year, and well below the 70 Bcf left in storage during the same week in 2013.

The other large storage operator, Dominion Transmission, recorded 85 Bcf of working storage on March 5, well above the 49 Bcf available at the same time last year, but less than the 107 Bcf the same week in 2013.

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