Natural gas bill could help residents convert

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Representatives from Interior Gas Utility presented a quarterly update on the Interior Energy Project to the Borough Assembly at its work session yesterday.
One question still facing the local natural gas market is whether residents will be able to afford converting their boilers - an expensive process.
House Bill 374 would authorize on-bill financing or repayment of natural gas conversions, allowing residents to pay off the conversion over many years instead of having to pay for the change up front, which can cost thousands of dollars.
The bill is currently working its way through the legislature after having had a hearing in the House Labor and Commerce committee today.
IGU general manager, Jomo Stewart, says although it's far from a sure thing, there's some hope the bill could pass before the legislative session ends.
Jomo Stewart; General Manager, Interior Gas Utility>>: "It is a good bill it looks like it's getting pretty good support. Again, we are a very small utility here in Fairbanks, heart of Alaska, but you have some major utilities, guys like ENSTAR, GVEA, Municipal Light and Power down in Anchorage, that might also find this kind of thing of benefit. Of course if they put their shoulder behind it that would simply improve its chances of getting through the process."