The delivery of natural gas to our homes is something that we have come to expect. Many rural Albertans still remember when we did not have access to these services until the later 1970's. This safe, and reliable fuel service offers many economic advantages and positively impacts the lives of many Alberta farmers and rural residents.
By virtue and foresight of a few rural Albertans who, together with the Alberta Government, saw the possibility for people to organize and purchase natural gas from an assured controlled supply and delivery mechanism, the rural gas program was born.
Rural Albertans were encouraged to form Co-ops, apply for franchise areas, and construct natural gas distribution systems. Many community members later became the Directors of the co-ops to create policy, plan, and construct the pipeline systems and set up local offices and management for the ongoing operations. Credit for today's successful Alberta Rural Natural Gas Co-op program belongs in large part to those individuals who devoted their time to canvas and sell the idea to their community.
The Government of Alberta's Department of Utilities and Telephone provided capital and technical assistance. Gas Alberta was established under this department to act as a broker to buy gas, pool the costs and resell to the co-ops.
Today, Alberta Gas Co-ops collectively operate the largest rural natural gas system in the world.
ESGAS was established in 1973 and as a result of the hard work and determination of the Board, staff and community, our franchise is approximately 1,200,000 acres, with approximately 1,800 kms of low pressure pipeline, 260 kms of high pressure pipeline and over 2,000 service sites.