On February 23, 1853, the Pittsfield Coal Gas Company was founded by Thomas F. Plunkett, George S. Willis and Henry Colt.
At the original plant site on the banks of the Housatonic River, gas was produced to provide light for the streets and homes of growing New England communities. For the remainder of the 19th century, gas lighting was the mainstay of the Company. By the mid-1920s, gas lighting had been replaced by the electric light, and gas cooking, home heating and water heating had become well-established in the service area.
The Texas natural gas pipeline to New England was completed in 1951, and the Pittsfield Coal Gas Company soon became the first distributor of pipeline natural gas in the region. With the acquisition of the Berkshire Gas Company in 1954, the Pittsfield Coal Gas Company adopted The Berkshire Gas Company as its new corporate name. The area served by the Company was further enlarged by the acquisition of the Greenfield Gas Light Company in 1958.
The 1960s was a period of rapid expansion and accelerated growth for the Company and resulted in the Company's move to expanded headquarters on Cheshire Road in Pittsfield in 1969.
Having effectively dealt with the energy issues of the 1970s, the 1980s represented a period of heightened demand. From 1986 through 1990, the Company experienced some of the strongest growth in its history and undertook record-breaking expansion and construction efforts to meet new demands.
Today, Berkshire Gas provides natural gas service to more than 36,000 customers in 20 cities and towns in western Massachusetts.
The 1990s presented new opportunities for natural gas as America's fuel of choice. Environmental, economic and supply factors combined to make natural gas more attractive than ever before. In addition, strategies were implemented for competing in the deregulated energy marketplace. In November 2010, Berkshire Gas was acquired by UIL Holdings of New Haven, CT.
The future is bright as Berkshire Gas responds to change in its industry and in its market area with the same enthusiasm and appetite for opportunity and success first shown by the original founders of Pittsfield Coal Gas in 1853.