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Gas Natural Inc. Retains Cox Consulting Group, LLC for Regulatory Affairs

MENTOR, Ohio, Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Gas Natural Inc. (NYSE MKT: EGAS) ("Gas Natural" or the "Company"), a holding company operating local natural gas utility companies serving approximately 72,000 natural gas customers in seven states, announced that it has retained Cox Consulting Group, LLC ("CCG") to provide regulatory consulting services in regards to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio ("PUCO" or "Commission").

"We believe CCG brings the expertise to provide us training on standard regulatory filings and advice for regulatory matters, to ensure an ongoing transparent relationship with the Ohio Commission and the other regulated jurisdictions in which we operate.  With CCG's support, we expect to better manage our risks, improve processes and procedures, educate our employees and meet regulatory requirements.  We are working toward improving our regulatory strategy and relationships so that we can focus our resources on executing our growth strategy.  We have excellent utilities, own powerful assets with great potential and plan to continue to profitably grow Gas Natural," stated Mr. Gregory J. Osborne, Gas Natural's President and Chief Operating Officer.

Eric D. Weldele, Partner with Cox Consulting Group, LLC, served as Chief of Staff for PUCO from 2011 to 2013.  CCG, based in Columbus, Ohio, is comprised of professionals with over 30 years of government, political and project management experience.  The firm offers regulatory consulting, executive and legislative state government lobbying and consulting, political grassroots organizing, public relations and project management services. 

The PUCO issued an Opinion and Order in the pending Northeast Ohio Natural Gas Corp. and Orwell Natural Gas Company gas cost recovery cases on November 13, 2013. The Company subsequently filed an Application for Rehearing on December 13, 2013. There can be no assurance that the application will be granted.

About Gas Natural Inc.
Gas Natural Inc., a holding company, distributes and sells natural gas to end-use residential, commercial, and industrial customers.  It distributes approximately 33 billion cubic feet of natural gas to approximately 72,000 customers through regulated utilities operating in Montana, Wyoming, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maine, North Carolina and Kentucky.  The Company's other operations include interstate pipeline, natural gas production, and natural gas marketing.  The Company's Montana public utility was originally incorporated in 1909.  Its strategy for growth is to expand throughput in the Maine and North Carolina markets, while looking for acquisitions that are either adjacent to its existing utilities or in under saturated markets.

The Company's toll-free number is 800-570-5688. Gas Natural Inc. regularly posts information on its website at www.egas.net.

Safe Harbor Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
The Company is including the following cautionary statement in this release to make applicable and to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for any forward-looking statements made by, or on behalf of, Gas Natural Inc. Forward-looking statements are all statements other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, those that are identified by the use of the words "anticipates," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "predicts," "believes" and similar expressions. Such statements are inherently subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed. Factors that may affect forward-looking statements and the Company's business generally include but are not limited to the Company's ability to successfully integrate the operations of the companies it has recently acquired and consummate additional acquisitions, the Company's continued ability to make dividend payments, the Company's ability to implement its business plan, fluctuating energy commodity prices, the possibility that regulators may not permit the Company to pass through all of its increased costs to its customers, changes in the utility regulatory environment, wholesale and retail competition, the Company's ability to satisfy its debt obligations, including compliance with financial covenants, weather conditions, litigation risks, and various other matters, many of which are beyond the Company's control, the risk factors and cautionary statements made in the Company's public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other factors that the Company is currently unable to identify or quantify, but may exist in the future. Gas Natural Inc. expressly undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Gas Natural Inc.'s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

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SOURCE Gas Natural Inc.

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