Terasen Gas unveils improvements for customer contact centre in downtown
Prince George

Facility will revitalize city centre and employ 100 people

SURREY, BC, July 8 /CNW/ - Today, Terasen Gas unveiled plans to renovate a building in the Prince George city centre that will be the future home of one of two B.C-based customer contact centres. The plans were shared with community members during an event held at the facility on 2nd Avenue.

The contact centre renovation is part of Terasen's move to an in-house customer care model, with two new contact centres, and a new customer information and billing system.

"Our focus is on our customer in all that we do, and this new approach to customer care will enhance the delivery of customer service and will enable the company to meet the growing needs of our customers," said John Walker, President and CEO of Terasen Gas and FortisBC. "We're thrilled to begin work on this new facility and to build on our relationship with the community of Prince George."

Renovations to the Prince George centre, which begin in the coming weeks, will include substantial upgrades to the building envelope and mechanical systems, and the replacement of the building's electrical systems - a reflection of Terasen's role as a leading energy solutions provider.

Inside, the design for the facility has been inspired by "the forest at springtime," reflecting Prince George's storied role in the B.C. forest industry, and celebrating the idea of growth and renewal illustrated by the revitalization of an aging building in a transitional area of the downtown.

The design and construction of the centre follows the principles and guidelines of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) by focusing on recycled and recyclable materials, using natural light, and retaining existing elements, such as doors, frames and walls, where feasible, to reduce landfill.

"As the City's economic development agency, we would like to welcome and express our heartfelt thanks to Terasen Gas for this substantial private sector investment in our city's downtown core," said Tim McEwan, President and CEO of Initiatives Prince George Development Corporation. "We are very appreciative of the 100 plus jobs that this investment will bring to Prince George, and for the downtown renewal the renovated building will help catalyze and shape."

Recruitment and hiring of a local workforce for both contact centres will commence in June 2011, with the new centres and services expected to be in place by January 2012. There will be opportunities for management positions, as well as for customer care representatives - which represent the majority of the new positions.

"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."

The establishment of the new centres is a change to how existing customer services are delivered to Terasen Gas customers. Currently, contact centre and billing functions are delivered through an outsourced arrangement. The new in-house customer care services will provide Terasen Gas and its customers with a number of ongoing improvements, including:

    
    -  Communication and service channels beyond the current service options
    -  Consolidated billing and electronic payment capabilities for
       commercial customers
    -  Broader capabilities for customers to analyze their energy usage
    -  Greater flexibility for Terasen Gas to offer new services, including
       expanded energy conservation programs, and to adapt to changing
       customer needs as the market changes
    

To learn more about Terasen Gas, visit www.terasengas.com/

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, Phone: 604-592-7507, Email: kirsten.walker@terasengas.com; Follow us at: www.twitter.com/terasengas

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