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March 02, 2007
ST. LOUIS, MO, March 2, 2007 – In 1857, a new company began lighting the streets of St. Louis with gas street lamps. On Friday, March 2, that company, which is today’s Laclede Gas, celebrates its 150th anniversary.
Originally incorporated as The Laclede Gas Light Company, it helped usher in the day of modern energy. Its presence pre-dated electricity and supported the tremendous growth of industry and commerce that occurred in St. Louis in the mid and late 1800s and remains a critical part of today’s St. Louis landscape.
“Since our inception, Laclede Gas has been an active partner and an integral player in the growth and success of the St. Louis region,” said Douglas H. Yaeger, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Laclede. “We’re proud of our involvement in the metropolitan area and of being an established building block of the business community early on. In fact, in 1896, Laclede Gas Light was one of 12 companies included on the first Dow Jones list.” With the advent of electric lighting, Laclede adapted its business from a lighting to a heating provider and a viable natural gas distribution company.
Today’s Laclede Gas continues to move beyond just the home heating, commercial and industrial markets by facilitating the use of natural gas and promoting conservation efforts. To meet consumer requests for backup power systems, the company partnered with electrical contractors and equipment suppliers to sell and install residential and commercial natural gas-fired electric generators. Laclede Gas partnered with the Home Builders Association of St. Louis to develop and implement a comprehensive inspection/verification program for the local Green Building Initiative, a program dedicated to bringing energy efficient home construction into the mainstream market.
In addition, Laclede Gas promotes the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) in public and private fleets. The company operates a newly upgraded CNG fueling station, which serves the St. Louis City Fleet Administration and St. Louis Air Pollution Control Division, as well as Laclede’s own fleet. Since 1996, Metro (Bi-State Development Agency) and Laclede Gas have enjoyed a successful partnership that resulted in a sophisticated CNG fueling facility serving Metro’s CNG Fleet of 36 buses.
Yet, the company’s dedication to service hasn’t been limited to the natural gas business. As part of its commitment to the St. Louis region, Laclede Gas and its employees are actively involved in many community institutions and events, including the Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure, the United Way, the Arts and Education Council of St. Louis and Salvation Army Bell Ringing. In furtherance of its commitment to the community, Laclede Gas worked with Sister Pat Kelley in 1982 to create Dollar-Help, Inc., a local nonprofit organization that helps those who need assistance paying their heating bills beyond that provided by the national energy assistance program known as LIHEAP. Since its inception, Dollar-Help has raised over $13 million and has assisted nearly 55,000 families in our local community. In 1987 it worked to create the National Fuel Funds Network, a national organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., that strives to increase resources available to meet the energy needs of low-income people through fuel funds and other energy assistance programs.
Laclede Gas has continued to evolve and grow, becoming the largest gas distribution company in Missouri, serving more than 630,000 natural gas customers in St. Louis and surrounding counties in Eastern Missouri, reaching as far south as Poplar Bluff. The formation of The Laclede Group (NYSE:LG) in 2001 was the realization of a strategy focused on continued growth and stabilization of its utility business and primary source of revenue. It is the platform for our next 150 years.
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