Terasen Gas receives approval to establish in-house customer care services

Two B.C.-based call handling centres and a billing operations centre will create approximately 300 new jobs

SURREY, BC, March 1 /CNW/ - Terasen Gas has received approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to move to an in-house customer care operating model effective January 2012. This will include two new B.C.-based call handling centres, a billing operations centre, and an updated customer information system.

"The approval to move to a new customer care operating model will help to ensure we can meet the growing needs of our customers in what is, and will continue to be, a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive energy marketplace," said Doug Stout, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Terasen Gas. "Our customer care services will be delivered by B.C.-based, Terasen Gas employees, who will be familiar with local energy and environmental considerations and with the evolving, expanding, and often more complex, suite of products and services we offer to our customers."

The first of two new contact centres will be located in Prince George, and will create more than 100 new call centre jobs, as well as future economic benefits for the local community. Terasen Gas is still finalizing the details for a second centre, planned for the Lower Mainland, which would create approximately 200 additional jobs to support both contact centre and billing operations.

"As the economic development authority in Prince George, we are very pleased that Terasen Gas has chosen Prince George and is bringing 100 new jobs to our downtown core. This is a big win for Prince George, and we look forward to welcoming Terasen Gas within our community," said Tim McEwan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Initiatives Prince George.

An updated customer information system will allow Terasen Gas to be more responsive in implementing new service offerings to customers, such as expanded energy conservation programs, and will replace the system that has been in service for more than ten years.

"An in-house customer care department and customer information system in our City's downtown will enhance the heart of our city and displays the confidence Terasen Gas has in our community and in our future," said Mayor Dan Rogers, City of Prince George. "We welcome them with open arms."

Terasen Gas is finalizing next steps in Prince George, which include renovations and improvements to the call centre building, as well as plans for recruiting and hiring of a local workforce with a strong customer focus, which will commence in mid-2011. In the coming weeks, a media briefing in Prince George will be scheduled to discuss further details about the new in-house customer care services.

Terasen Gas is mainly composed of the operations of Terasen Gas Inc. and Terasen Gas (Vancouver Island) Inc., both indirect wholly owned subsidiaries of Fortis Inc. Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada, serves approximately 2,100,000 gas and electric customers and has total assets exceeding $12 billion. Its regulated holdings include Terasen Gas and electric utilities in five Canadian provinces and three Caribbean countries. Fortis Inc. owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets across Canada and in Belize and upper New York State. It also owns hotels and commercial real estate in Canada. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com

SOURCE TERASEN GAS

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Kirsten Walker, Corporate Communications Manager, Terasen Gas Inc., Phone: (604) 592-7507, Email: kirsten.walker@terasengas.com

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TERASEN GAS

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