Who We Are
Since 1953, DC Gas has delivered clean, safe, and efficient natural gas to its customers in DeKalb, Cherokee, and Etowah Counties. Our service area network continues to grow daily.
In 1953, the community leaders of Fort Payne, Collinsville, and Centre joined forces to establish the DeKalb-Cherokee Counties Gas District. With 0 customers, and $0 revenue, approximately $2 million was borrowed in 1953 to construct the initial DC Gas System in these three towns. That is the approximate equivalent of borrowing over $25 million today. In 1960-1961, two expansions were constructed; the first into Cedar Bluff from Centre, and the second onto Sand Mountain covering Crossville, Geraldine, Fyffe, Rainsville, and Powell. After the 1960-1961 expansions were completed, DC Gas served approximately 3,000 customers, and the service area could not significantly expand due to capacity limitations from the pipeline.
In 1996, the leaders of DC Gas took on, at the time, one of the largest public works projects ever in Northeast Alabama. DC Gas borrowed over $15 million to construct and install an additional connection to the Southern Natural Pipeline. This project tripled the transportation capacity, and quickly doubled the number of customers that DC Gas was able to serve to approximately 6,000. Numerous expansions have occurred since that time, but on a significantly lesser scale. Today, DC Gas owns and operates approximately 750 miles of gas main, and serves approximately 8,000 customers.
Through vision, innovation, and commitment to the communities we serve, DC Gas was formed and constructed when investor-owned utilities did not consider our communities to be profitable for investment. This innovation and commitment has continued to grow the network of our service area to the surrounding communities.
DC Gas is committed to providing our customers the peace of mind that safe, clean, and reliable natural gas will continue to meet their energy needs for years to come.
Geographically, our DeKalb County service area boundaries are Henagar, Powell, Ten Broeck, Kilpatrick, Collinsville, and Valley Head. Our Cherokee County service area boundaries are Sand Rock, Leesburg, Centre, Cedar Bluff, and Ellisville. We also serve portions of Northeastern Etowah County. Currently, DC Gas owns and operates approximately 750 miles of gas main, and serves almost 8,000 customers.
The initial system (still in service today) begins at the Southern Natural Pipeline take-point in East Gadsden, behind the Gadsden Regional Medical Center. From the take-point, the DC Gas pipeline begins and comes under the Coosa River and up US 411 to Leesburg. At Leesburg, the pipeline again goes under the Coosa River and continues into Centre, and also crosses Lookout Mountain via AL Hwy 68 into Collinsville. From Collinsville, the pipeline follows US 11 into Fort Payne. In 1960 and 1961, two significant expansions were constructed. The first expansion extended the pipeline from Centre into Cedar Bluff. The second and most significant of the two extended the pipeline from Collinsville onto Sand Mountain to Crossville, Geraldine, Fyffe, Rainsville, Powell, and back to Fort Payne. At the completion of these two expansions, DC Gas served approximately 3,000 customers, and was unable to continue to expand due to capacity limitations from the Southern Natural Pipeline. This system remained relatively unchanged until 1993 – 1996. Forty years after construction of the original system, DC Gas took on, at the time, one of the largest public-works projects ever in Northeast Alabama. DC Gas borrowed $15 million to construct a 53 mile main extension adding a second connection to the Southern Natural Pipeline. This line begins west of Rainbow City and extends through Attalla, Ridgeville, Keener, across Lookout Mountain, and ending in North Fort Payne. This 1993 – 1996 project near tripled the transportation capacity, and provided opportunity for tremendous growth. The Districts service area has continued to expand, but on a significantly lesser scale.
DC Gas currently employs 44 of the best men and women in DeKalb and Cherokee County. Certifications include various welding certifications, CDL certifications, heavy equipment operator qualifications, plumbing and gas fitter certifications, and countless industry specific technical qualifications including the operation of specialized gas detection equipment, monitoring and gas pressure stabilization systems and controls, and mapping and engineering. In the office we maintain all of the normal corporate functions of any other small business. We process our own accounts payable, payroll, generate our customer invoicing, and collect monthly accounts receivable.
The natural gas that is used by DC Gas customers is transported by the Southern Natural Gas pipeline that is owned and operated by Kinder Morgan. Southern Natural has two transportation pipelines across the Southeast United States. Their North line spans from Logansport, Louisiana through Mississippi and Alabama, ending west of Atlanta. This line passes through Etowah County Alabama, and is where DC Gas takes its supply of natural Gas. Southern Natural also has a South line that begins on the coast of Louisiana and spans Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Natural gas occurs deep beneath the earth’s surface, and consists mainly of methane. Natural gas also contains small amounts of hydrocarbon gas liquids. Natural gas is drilled both on shore and offshore by numerous companies, and injected into the Southern Natural Pipeline by gathering companies. Natural Gas is colorless and odorless in its natural state, and is the cleanest burning fossil fuel. DC Gas adds odorant, Mercaptan, to the natural gas to give it the rotten egg or skunk smell that we’ve come to associate with natural gas for safety purposes.
There are numerous uses for natural gas in the residential setting. Some are primary and secondary heat (furnaces, fire-places, or space heating), cooking (ovens and stoves), clothes dryers, emergency backup generators, outdoor kitchens (grills and cooktops), and one of the primary uses is in water heating.
Natural gas water heaters provide water heating efficiency for the consumer that is second to none. According to the US Department of Energy Average Energy Costs results from 2017, a natural gas fueled 50 gallon standard tank water heater costs approximately $309 per year to operate compared to $626 per year for an electric 50 gallon standard tank water heater. Making the switch to a natural gas fueled tankless, on-demand, water heater could reduce the annual operating cost even further to approximately $228 per year. The tankless water heaters additionally offer an endless supply of hot water. DC Gas maintains an inventory of both tankless and tank style water heaters for our customers. We also offer a $300 discount for our customers to install a natural gas water heater. DC Gas will provide to our customers a natural gas tankless or tank style water heater at $300 less than our cost of the appliance.