National Gas & Oil Cooperative provides natural gas service to more than 33,000 residential and commercial members within a six county area. This service is provided through a network of nearly 1,000 miles of distribution pipelines. We are committed to providing our members with safe and reliable natural gas service.
As part of a major initiative to install new pipeline infrastructure, we connected 458 new members last year and installed more than 34 miles of new distribution mains for new growth. Most of the new growth mains were installed in the Johnstown area as part of a five year planned expansion. The infrastructure replacement initiative included 12 miles of distribution mains, 400 services lines and 1,100 risers.
The Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) program is in its third year of implementation with more than 17,000 units installed. This equipment sends meter reading by wireless communication, improving accuracy and timeliness while reducing expenses. With the AMI, program we have experienced a reduction in carbon emissions, fuel costs and manpower because we are not required to physically send out meter readers.
We also continued efforts to reduce the cost of natural gas by bringing in gas supply from the shale drilling areas of Ohio and Pennsylvania. Having access to these recently-developed resources lowers the transportation cost and provides more market competition for gas pricing. The staff will continue to explore ways to reduce costs and find alternatives for natural gas supply. IGS Energy is also supplying natural gas and offering a fixed price to eligible consumers who want price certainty.
Last year, our members consumed more than 30 million ccf of clean burning natural gas, a significant increase over the previous year. This increase in consumption was mostly the result of bitter winter weather experienced in 2014. However, the overall trend is for cooperative members to use less natural gas as a result of conservation programs and more efficient appliances.