A financing program to help residents get natural gas water heaters and furnaces to connect to the new southern Utah natural gas system has been announced by Mountain Fuel Supply Co.

Customers may borrow a maximum of $3,000 at an interest rate of 1 percent per month.The financing program, recently approved by the Utah Public Service Commission, is available in Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Iron and Washington counties. Participants must own the premises on which the equipment will be installed and sign service line agreements with the utility.

The program requires energy-efficient water heaters to qualify. These may be financed for 36 months. Furnaces or space heaters, along with water heater combinations, may be financed for up to 60 months. Piping, venting and ducting related to equipment installation may also be financed.

Mountain Fuel officials said the finance program will benefit both the company and southern system customers. Those who want to convert to natural gas will be able to do so more easily, so they can take advantage of the lower cost of operating gas appliances, and Mountain Fuel will benefit from increased gas sales.

Additional information may be obtained by contacting the firm's field offices in Richfield, Ephraim or Cedar City or the headquarter's office in Salt Lake City.

The finance program will be available through April 1, 1989.