UniSource Energy Services is expanding low-cost, natural gas service in the Prescott region as developers build homes, restaurants and businesses to serve new residents drawn to the popular area.
In 2016, UES added about 760 new customers in Prescott Valley, Prescott and Chino Valley, helping to strengthen economic development in the area. Already, Prescott is the largest district in UES’ gas service territory with about 49,000 customers.
“It’s great to see people getting jobs, building and working in the community,” said Sara Scott, a Gas Construction Planner for UES. “We don’t see any slowdown of growth. We already have plans for several years out.”
Prescott is a desired destination because of its small, community-focused atmosphere and mild climate, drawing both young families and retirees. A recent survey by Thumbtack, a consumer service website, ranked Prescott as the nation’s third most popular destination for Americans who are moving, according to The Daily Courier.
“It’s really the high quality of life here. People like the four seasons,” said David Maurer, Chief Executive Officer of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce.
Contractors are keeping Scott busy with requests for service to planned apartments, subdivisions and businesses after a dip during the recession. Natural gas service has been available in Prescott since 1951 and is expanding into new areas to reach new developments.
The town of Prescott Valley, which has surpassed Prescott as the region’s most populous community, is seeing the most development, with 500 new single-family residential permits in 2016, said Jeff Brown, UES Construction and Maintenance Supervisor.
In addition to single family homes, hundreds of apartments are planned in Prescott Valley, Prescott and Chino Valley to help meet the demand. Rental homes often are contracted shortly after going on the market, Scott said.
New businesses that UES will serve include Chick-fil-A, Earnhardt Volkswagen, La-Z-Boy and Native Grill & Wings.
“UES personnel in the Prescott district continue to work hand in hand with the local government agencies to bring new growth opportunities to the area,” Brown said.
Bill Parry, UES Regional Manager, said: “We are happy to be a key part of this tremendous economic development.”