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June 11, 2007
ST. LOUIS, MO, June 11, 2007 – Laclede Gas and Missouri Natural Gas customers will soon receive gas bills that have a new look and offer more detailed information. The new bills will be mailed in an envelope starting Monday, June 11, 2007.
Laclede Gas engaged in a comprehensive design process, hosting focus groups in its service area to find out what customers wanted in terms of information on the bill. “Our customers’ ideas and suggestions are very important to us,” said Douglas H. Yaeger, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Laclede. “We recognize that a growing number of our customers actively participate in conservation efforts and that it is important that they be able to easily read their monthly statement and understand their natural gas usage. We listened to our customers and developed a natural gas bill that offers the information they desire to know.”
Focus group feedback supported the need for more information, privacy protection and amenities, such as a return payment envelope. The redesign features:
• delivery in an envelope to shield personal and account information;
• an expanded, letter-sized (8.5”x11”) format;
• easy to understand usage and account information – both detailed and in summary;
• a return payment envelope;
• a bar chart and table that compares current usage and billing information to the previous month and same month from the prior year. Comparison information will be dependent upon the date natural gas service was established for a customer, as well as the availability of usage information for the defined periods;
• important information regarding payment options, definitions of billing terms, and other helpful customer messages;
• contact information for all billing and customer service needs; and
Customers can preview the updated format at www.lacledegas.com. An instructional flyer on “how to read” the updated bill will be included with each customer’s first bill in the new format.
The redesigned bill is another step in the updating of Laclede’s billing process, which started with the installation of Cellnet Automated Meter Reading (AMR) devices. The use of AMR devices virtually eliminates the need for estimated meter reads or customer self reads, as actual usage information is transmitted to Laclede on a daily basis. The new bill format joins a list of enhanced customer service steps already in place at Laclede, including extended call center hours and days of operation, the addition of customer service representatives, virtual hold technology, customer assistance programs, convenient and multiple payment options and a redesigned Web site.
Laclede Gas, a subsidiary of The Laclede Group (NYSE: LG), is the largest gas distribution company in Missouri, serving more than 630,000 natural gas customers in St. Louis and surrounding counties in Eastern Missouri. Laclede Gas celebrated its 150th anniversary on March 2, 2007.
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