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Northeast Utilities' CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

In fact, I've been spending a lot of time going out to the field with town hall meetings talking to my linemen, talking to my troops to make sure they recognize that we are in the customer service business. That's my focus. But I need every one of those 9,000 strong to focus on the customers for us to be successful, and I think we're making some great progress.

But this company is much more than a regional energy provider. We're going to have the scale to manage a highly effective and efficient company, and I think you know I am a nut about efficiency also. And as a $11 billion to $12 billion market cap company, we're going to be able to access the capital markets on very attractive terms, better than we could do individually. But we can continue to make investments in wires and pipes that our customers and our communities need.

We've married one of the nation's most reliable operators of electric distribution systems, with probably the most preeminent planner, designer, builder and operator of electric transmission systems. We also will operate 2 natural gas systems, serving 500,000 customers. But when we look at those franchises and those communities, we think there's probably twice that number of homes and businesses we can serve in the future.

In an era when economic and eventual benefits of converting from heating oil to natural gas has never been greater, we hope to expand our pipeline infrastructure to really save a whole bunch of New Englanders, tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars annually so that we can put that back into the economies of our states. We have gas at $1.25 a gallon versus $4 heating oil. I think you can appreciate how many of our customers are begging us to expect expand our infrastructure.

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