The first venture into the use of gas for lighting in Greenville occurred in 1883 when several new stores were built with gas fittings. In 1916, J. T. Bland, superintendent of the gas plant in Washington, NC, petitioned the Greenville Aldermen for the first gas franchise in Greenville. The city in 1916 installed gas lines under all the streets before they were paved. In 1934, a gas plant was built in Greenville and when it was turned on the gas pipes leaked so bad it killed large section of grass and trees all over town. In 1927, the Greenville Gas Company and six other eastern North Carolina gas companies merged with Carolina Gas and Electric Company. In 1931, the City Aldermen put the gas plant operation under the control of the Greenville Water and Light Department. In 1956 there were 3,000 gas customers in Greenville.