Burner Conversion Workshop

BANGOR, ME, Nov. 29, 2001 - Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning professionals are invited to attend "Putting Natural Gas to Work," a workshop on burner conversions sponsored by Bangor Gas Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Eastern Maine Technical College, Rangeley Hall. Charlie Aiello of Midco International will discuss and demonstrate proper burner installation and conversion procedures. Lunch is included. There is no cost to attend the workshop.

"There is a lot of misinformation in the community about the cost to convert from heating oil or propane to natural gas and the safety features of natural gas, which currently heats more than 53 percent of households in the United States," said Joe Cote, general manager of Bangor Gas. "This workshop (the third in a series) is intended to answer questions heating professionals may have about natural gas burner conversions."

Most heating oil- and propane-fired equipment used in homes and business can be safely converted using qualified and licensed heating and plumbing contractors. Burners used for conversions are UL/AGA/CSA listed.

Bangor Gas estimates that the cost to convert space and water heating equipment from heating oil to natural gas is approximately $700 to $800, not including oil tank removal or chimney lining. Based on expected annual savings of $400 by converting to natural gas, a homeowner could expect the payback period to be two to three years.

Savings include annual fuel cost, oil tank replacement, electricity usage, reduced annual maintenance and service costs and, most importantly, energy-efficiency savings. Other major considerations to burning natural gas include environmental benefits. Burning natural gas produces less carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide. And, because natural gas is delivered to your home or business by pipelines, there are no leaking storage tanks or delivery trucks adding pollutants to the environment.

Based on average propane costs of $1.20 per gallon (91,600 Btu/gal.) and natural gas at 65 cents per therm (100,000 Btu), the payback period for converting from propane to natural gas is estimated at less than one year. This also takes into account that the cost to convert from propane to natural gas is less than from heating oil to natural gas.

Cote said natural gas is the cleanest, most efficient fossil fuel available for space and water heating. Because it is so clean, maintenance costs are less. Natural gas is safe, reliable and has been the preferred fuel for heating in many homes and businesses across the nation for more than a century. Natural gas supplies are abundant, with 85 percent of the natural gas consumed in the U.S. domestically produced.

To attend the workshop, heating professionals are asked to call Bangor Gas at (207) 941-9595 or send a fax to Jon Kunz, marketing and sales manager at Bangor Gas, at (207) 942-0101.

For more information on natural gas programs and services, visit Bangor Gas' Web site at www.bangorgas.com.

Bangor Gas Co. is part of Sempra Energy Global Enterprises, the umbrella for Sempra Energy's growth businesses. Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services company.