President and Chief Executive Officer at Atmos Energy
Thank you, Chris, and good morning, everyone. As you heard, the first six months of the fiscal year were in line with our expectations, which leaves us well positioned for another successful fiscal year. This performance reflects a commitment, dedication, focus and effort of all 4,700 Atmos Energy employees, as we continue to successfully modernize our natural gas distribution, transmission and storage systems, while safely providing reliable natural gas service to our 3.4 million customers across 1,400 communities in eight states. During the first half of the fiscal year, we continue to experience strong customer growth, as you just heard from Chris. For example, for the 12 months ended March 31, 2022, we added over 57,000 new customers which represents a 1.8% increase. We added nearly 1,800 commercial customers during the first six months of this fiscal year.
And we added 15 new industrial customers that we anticipate using nearly five Bcf of natural gas annually when at full capacity. On a volumetric basis, that five Bcf of annual industrial customer usage is equivalent to adding nearly 85,000 residential customers to our system. We're very proud of our efforts for these new customers coming on our system. As Chris mentioned, our capital spending has increased about $344 million over the prior year period, and we remain on track to achieve our capital spending target of $2.4 billion to $2.5 billion. Through our system modernization efforts, we are on track to replace 800 to 1,000 miles of pipe and 20,000 to 30,000 steel service lines, all of which supports our goal of reducing methane emissions 50% by 2035 from 2017 levels for EPA reported distribution and maintenance services.
That also includes APT's integrity work on projects like our Line X Phase two replacement, which is under construction and includes 63 miles of 36-inch pipeline anticipated to be completed later this calendar year. As a reminder, we placed Phase one into service in Q1 of this fiscal year. That phase replaced 64 miles of 36-inch pipeline. Additionally, construction has begun on Phase two of our Line S-2 replacement project. This 18-mile 36-inch project is expected to be completed late this calendar year. Again, as a reminder, we placed 22 miles of 36-inch completed in Phase one into service in Q1 of this fiscal year. This modernization work is a significant component of our comprehensive environmental strategy that focuses on reducing our Scope one, two and three emissions and environmental impact from operations in the five key areas of operations, fleet, facilities, gas supply and customers.
During the second quarter, we added another RNG facility that will provide renewable natural gas for transportation across our system. That facility has the potential to flow up to 0.5 Bcf a year. As you know, we are currently transporting approximately eight Bcf a year and we are evaluating nearly 30 opportunities that could further expand these transportation opportunities. As I mentioned on previous calls, we completed our first zero-net energy home in partnership with the Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity in Evans, Colorado. Zero Net Energy homes use high-efficiency natural gas appliances, rooftop solar panels and insulation to produce more energy than it consumes at a very affordable cost, approximately $50 per month for the combined gas and electric bill for the Evans,
Colorado home. We are now partnering with local Habitat for Humanity organization in each of our eight states to construct additional zero-net energy homes. Currently, our home in Dallas is under construction. And on April 27, we held the dedication for our zero-net energy home in Taylor, Texas. Additionally, in Jackson, Mississippi on April 28, Atmos Energy and Habitat for Humanity Capital earlier, held a groundbreaking ceremony for Mississippi's first zero net energy home. And in Lubbock, three homes are scheduled to begin construction in early September of this year. These zero net energy homes demonstrate the value and vital role natural gas plays in helping customers reduce their carbon footprint in an affordable manner, providing these families with a natural gas home that is environmentally friendly and cost efficient is just one way Atmos Energy fuels safe and thriving communities.
Our customer support organization and technology support team continue to innovate and look for ways to improve our customer service and offer convenient channels for our customers to communicate with us as well as to make payments. For example, over 31% of our customers are enrolled in recurring auto draft, which is about 8% higher than industry average. We also see continuous growth in our electronic bill delivery channels with nearly 50% of our customers enrolled in E-bill. We continue our outreach to customers to make them aware of our flexible planet fans as well as provide contact information for local, state and federal energy assistance programs.
For the first six months of this fiscal year, our customer support associates, our energy assistant specialist and coordinator through our customer advocacy team helped nearly 44,000 customers received $15 million in energy assistance. It is through heartfelt caring efforts like that, an exceptional customer service that provide the satisfaction ratings for these employees that exceed 97%. These activities and initiatives reflect how we are focused on the long-term sustainability of Atmos Energy as we serve a very vital role in every community by delivering reliable, efficient and abundant natural gas to homes, businesses and industries to fuel our energy needs now, and into the future. We believe our focus on long-term sustainability combined with executing our proven investment, regulatory and financial strategies continues to support our ability to grow earnings per share and dividends 6% to 8% annually through fiscal 2026.
We appreciate your time and interest in Atmos Energy this morning, and we'll now open the call for questions.