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National Grid

March 25, 2021 - 4:36pm
posted by Press Release in Gale force winds, weather, news, National Grid.

Press release:

In anticipation of gale-force winds that could exceed 60 mph beginning Friday morning in Western New York, National Grid is increasing staffing to include 1,300 line, service, tree, damage assessment and public safety workers.

The bolstered field force includes external resources and will be deployed across the region as necessary if the anticipated wind event disrupts electricity service to customers. The company will continue to closely monitor the weather forecast and has activated its comprehensive emergency response plan, which includes:

  • Securing extra resources and mobilizing field and tree crews.

  • Pre-staging crews and materials in areas anticipated to be most severely impacted.

  • Proactively reaching out to elected, municipal and emergency management officials to keep them updated on our preparations and provide safety information.

  • Reaching out directly to customers through traditional and social media, email and texts, and on our website to provide safety information and to urge them to be prepared.

  • Conducting outbound calls to life support and critical facility customers to ensure that they are prepared.

In anticipation of the adverse weather, National Grid also provides customers with the following safety reminders:

Electricity & Generator Safety

  • If a power outage occurs, customers can notify National Grid online to expedite restoration.

  • Never touch downed power lines; always assume they are carrying live electricity. Downed lines should immediately be reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 9-1-1.

  • Generators used to supply power during an outage must be operated outdoors to prevent the buildup of deadly carbon monoxideBefore operating a generator, be sure todisconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker, located in theelectric service panel. Failure to do this could endanger our crews and your neighbors.

  • Customers who depend on electrically powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should register as a life support customer by calling National Grid at 1 -800-642-4272. (In a medical emergency, always dial 9-1-1.)

  • Keep working flashlights and an extra supply of batteries in your home and be sure to charge all electronic devices before the storm.

  • Please use caution when driving near emergency responders and crews restoring power.

  • Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.

Stay Informed and Connected

  • Customers with active electricity accounts who text "REG" to 64743 can receive personalized alerts via text, email or phone call when we detect an outage on their premises. Customers also can text "OUT" to 64743 to report an outage.

  • For real-time power outage information, online outage reporting, and in-depth storm safety information, visit National Grid’s Outage Central website. Customers who create an online profile also can sign up for email alerts.

  • Visit our website: http://www.nationalgridus.com

December 24, 2020 - 12:14pm
posted by Press Release in news, National Grid, winter storm, weather.

Press release:

National Grid is preparing for a potentially powerful winter storm that is forecasted to impact much of Upstate New York beginning today. To prepare, the company has increased its statewide staffing to include 1,900 line, service, tree, damage assessment and public safety workers.

The bolstered field force includes external resources and will be deployed as necessary, as high winds, rain and heavy snow are forecasted through Saturday for several counties in Western and Central New York, including communities east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. In Eastern New York forecasts call for wind, heavy rain and the possibility of isolated flooding.

National Grid will continue to closely monitor the weather, and has activated its comprehensive emergency response plan, including:

  • Calling in extra resources, and mobilizing field and tree crews.

  • Prestaging crews and materials in areas anticipated to be most severely impacted.

  • Proactively reaching out to elected, municipal and emergency management officials to keep them updated on our preparations and provide safety information.

  • Reaching out directly to customers through traditional and social media, email and texts and on our website to provide safety information and to urge them to be prepared.

  • Conducting outbound calls to life support and critical facility customers to ensure they are prepared.

In anticipation of the storm, the company is encouraging customers to keep safety a priority with the following reminders:

Electricity & Generator Safety

  • If a power outage occurs, customers can notify National Grid online to expedite restoration.

  • Never touch downed power lines; always assume they are carrying live electricity. Downed lines should be immediately reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 9-1-1.

    Generators used to supply power during an outage must be operated outdoors to prevent the buildup of deadly carbon monoxide. Before operating a generator, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker, located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could endanger our crews and your neighbors.

  • Customers who depend on electrically powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should register as a life support customer by calling National Grid at 1-800-642- 4272. In a medical emergency, always dial 9-1-1.

  • Keep working flashlights and an extra supply of batteries in your home and be sure to charge all electronic devices before the storm.

  • Please use caution when driving near emergency responders and crews restoring power.

  • Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.

Use Caution When Addressing Ice and Snow Buildup

National Grid reminds home and building owners to be especially cautious as they work to clear snow and ice by following these safety recommendations:

  • Gas customers should clear snow and ice from gas meters and regulators by gently using a snow brush or broom. Never kick, hit or use sharp objects to remove snow and ice. If a meter and/or regulator is encased in solid ice, call National Grid at 1-800-642-4272.

  • Gas customers should ensure vents for natural gas appliances are clear of snow and ice. Covered or clogged vents can lead to the build-up of poisonous carbon monoxide.

  • Customers who detect an odor of natural gas or suspect carbon monoxide is present in their home, should go outside immediately and breathe deeply. If CO poisoning symptoms, such as headaches or drowsiness, are severe, immediately call 9-1-1.

  • Customers experiencing gas odors or electricity emergencies should immediately callNational Grid’s emergency number: 1-800-867-5222.

  • Keep all ladders, shovels, roof rakes and other devices well clear of any service lines coming from the street to the structure.

  • Start clearing snow from the opposite end of the roof from the service point where electricity is delivered.

  • If you are unsure of how to go about clearing snow and ice, or if your roof is particularly steep, contact a qualified roofing contractor.

  • As snow is removed from the roof, be aware of what is below that could become buried as snow hits the ground. Be especially mindful of the location of your electricity and gas meters, as they could be damaged by falling snow and ice.

  • Snow removal equipment operators should also be aware of the presence of electricity and natural gas equipment and avoid coming in contact with meters or piling snow around vents and other equipment mounted on the outside of buildings.

Stay informed and connected

  • Customers with active electricity accounts who text "REG" to 64743 can have personalized alerts sent to them via text, email or phone call when we detect an outage on their properties.

  • Customers also can text "OUT" to 64743 to report an outage.

  • For real-time power outage information, online outage reporting, and in-depth storm safety information, visit National Grid’s Outage Central website. Customers who create an online profile also can sign up for email alerts.

  • Visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com, follow us on Twitter and friend us on Facebook.

December 22, 2020 - 1:47pm
posted by Press Release in National Grid, scams, crime, news.

Press release:

With the holidays in full swing and the COVID-19 pandemic causing financial stress on many individuals, National Grid is alerting customers about recent reports of scams where imposters are promising refunds or discounts.

Here’s how scammers are trying to prey on customers:

  • Customers may notice their caller ID displays an incoming call is from a phone number in a nearby town or even the neighborhood where they live.

  • When customers answer the phone, a recorded message explains that due to being overbilled, they are owed refunds or discounts on their utility bills.

  • The customer is instructed to press "1" to learn more about the refund or discount.

  • The customer is transferred to a someone who explains that the customer is eligible for a refund or discount.

  • The customer is then asked for personal information, which may include their utility bill account number.

  • The scammer also may ask for the customer’s bank account number or other personal or financial information. Divulging this level of information can lead to identity theft or customers having their bank accounts accessed.

    Scammers have become increasingly sophisticated in replicating National Grid’s recorded messaging and directions for phone prompts, making it more difficult to differentiate an actual National Grid phone call from an imposter’s call. Similar scams have been reported across the United States by other utilities.

    Customers who have fallen victim to the scam should immediately contact National Grid by using the toll-free telephone numbers listed on their billing statements. The company wants to protect customers and offers the following warning signs to detect this recent scam:

  • Do not cave to pressure. Never – under any circumstances – offer personal or financial information to someone who you cannot identify.

  • Scammers will not have access to your account information, and you should never provide that information if you are asked.

  • National Grid representatives who call you will know your account number.

  • Verify that you are speaking with a National Grid representative. Ask the caller to provide the last five digits of your National Grid account number.

  • If the caller does not know your account number, hang up the phone.

To learn more about protecting yourself and your family from scams, visit ngrid.com/scam

November 30, 2020 - 4:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in power outage, National Grid, news, byron, bergen.

More than 1,000 customers of National Grid are without power in the Byron, South Byron, and Bergen areas.

Power went out at about 4 p.m.

It's the only significant power outage in Genesee County but there are also three large outages reported just to the east in Monroe and Livingston counties.

We don't have information on what may have caused the outages.

National Grid estimates completing reports in Genesee County by 6 p.m.

UPDATE 4:34 p.m.: As soon as this was posted, the National Grid site shows that power has been restored to this area.

November 16, 2020 - 1:05pm
posted by Press Release in news, batavia, windstorm, National Grid.

Press release:

More than 1,400 National Grid line, tree and service workers in Western New York are focused on public safety and are making steady progress in removing downed wires, trees, tree limbs, broken poles and other hazards and restoring power after a severe windstorm swept across the region on Sunday.

Crews will continue to work around the clock on the labor-intensive cleanup and restoration efforts.

As of 11 a.m. fewer than 9,000 customers remain without service, primarily in the hardest hit areas, including portions of Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. The storm, with wind gusts of more than 65 mph, impacted 51,000 customers.

A spokesman for National Grid said in Genesee County there remains one customer outage Oakfield, one in Pavilion, one Stafford, and 15 in Attica, 18 total.  

Crews will continue their work in high winds and challenging conditions throughout the day to restore service to customers as quickly and safely as possible.

National Grid is distributing bottled water and dry ice to impacted customers today at the following locations:

  • Dunkirk Training Grounds, 665 Brigham Road, Dunkirk from 1 to  6 p.m.
  • JFK Recreation Center, 114 Hickory St., Buffalo from now until 6 p.m.

The company had initially planned a distribution location in Batavia. But since the number of impacted customers in that area is lower than anticipated, it was decided to concentrate the dry ice and bottled water distribution efforts in the two other areas, to help customers who need it the most.

“Storm damage across Western New York includes uprooted trees, broken poles anddowned power lines,” said Matt Barnett, National Grid’s vice president of New York Electric Operations.

“In addition to performing critical public safety activities, our crews are assessing damage to our system and equipment so that we can refine our restoration estimates and restore power as quickly and safely as possible.”

September 29, 2020 - 4:59pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, news, National Grid.

Press release:

SYRACUSE -- National Grid today filed a customer assistance proposal with its New York regulator that would provide up to $50 million in financial assistance to support its most economically vulnerable residential customers as well as businesses that are struggling because of the pandemic’sfinancial impact.

The company sought input from the New York State Department of Public Service staff, customer advocates and other stakeholders to design the programs and determine how best to allocate the assistance to those most in need.

“Six months into the pandemic, the economic recovery remains relatively flat and unemployment rates are increasing sharply in the COVID-19 recession," said John Bruckner, National Grid’s New York president. "National Grid’s relief package offers an important opportunity to provide our customers with financial assistance to lessen their hardship beyond what we currently offer through our existing COVID-19 programs and services.”

Bruckner noted that funding for the programs will be targeted to customers who are in arrears and/or unable to pay their energy bills due to financial hardship stemming from the pandemic.

“By redeploying existing customer funds to programs carefully designed to address identified economic hardships, we believe our proposed programs will help with the financial difficulties currently being experienced by our customers,” he said.

  • Programs Offer Additional Support for Economically Vulnerable Residential Customers

    National Grid’s proposal includes up to $25 million in funding for two new programs forresidential customers enrolled in the company’s Energy Assistance Program. Participants in the EAP are among the company’s most vulnerable customers, facing financial hardships that could require them to choose between paying their energy bills and other necessities. The company believes that bill credits are the best tool for providing immediate assistance to help these customers manage their energy costs.
    Program Highlights:

    Enhanced Economic Development Programs

    For National Grid’s business customers, the company’s proposal includes up to $25 million for a new arrears forgiveness plan and two enhanced economic development grant programs.
     

  • Program Highlights:

    1. Under the proposal, EAP customers would receive an immediate, one-time bill credit on both the gas and electricity portions of their bills.

    2. Customers enrolled in EAP who also have a Deferred Payment Agreement will receive up to 12 monthly arrears incentive payments if they honor that agreement, which requires paying their current bill and a monthly installment toward their past due balance.

    3. If there are any funds remaining in this program after 12 months, the balance will be shared as a final one-time bill credit for all EAP customers.

    4. Upon implementation, distressed business customers who enroll in a Deferred Payment Agreement under the program’s guidelines, will receive a bill credit on a portion of their arrears if they are current on their DPA.

    5. These customers may receive a second bill credit on a portion of their arrears upon completion of their DPA.

    6. A new COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Grant Program that offers grants to large commercial and industrial customers for eligible recovery-related expenses, including personal protective equipment, environmental health and safety measures, interest expenses associated with pandemic-related loans, and machinery and equipment costs.

    7. Further enhancing the existing Manufacturing Productivity Program so that qualifying small- and medium-sized business can apply for funds to support COVID-19 recovery and future resiliency, including business continuity planning, enterprise risk management, and support for employee/environmental health and safety. The funding would remain available through August or until program funding is depleted.

    8. Bruckner noted that while New York State and the federal government have taken measures to assist residents and businesses during this unprecedented time, the duration of the pandemic is unknown, and the impacts are difficult to predict. “We believe that additional assistance is necessary for our customers. Our proposal is a way for us to provide crucial near-term relief,” he said.

      Continuing Customer Commitment

      National Grid remains focused on providing solutions to customers who are suffering from thepandemic’s financial and personal impacts. Some of the immediate actions the company took at the onset of the pandemic to help customers include:

      • Donating nearly $1 million across New York to support hunger relief, human services agencies and others.

      • Pausing residential disconnections and fees, late payment charges and collections-related activities and offering flexible payment plans.

      • Launching extensive customer outreach through emails, letters, traditional and digital media, webinars, and calls to provide information on managing energy bills, offer flexiblepayment and billing options, and provide details on financial assistance and energy savings programs. We encourage customers who are struggling to pay their bills to contactus as soon as possible so that we can help.

      • Offering the expertise of our Consumer Advocates to provide crisis intervention support for customers, working closely with county Social Services and community assistance organizations.

      • Providing enhanced economic development support to New York businesses producing critical pandemic supplies.

        Additional details on National Grid’s pandemic preparedness, associated actions and a customer Q&A can be found at ngrid.com/covid-19.

      • Key Highlights

      • Up to $25 million for low income customers enrolled in the Energy Assistance Program with immediate bill credits and up to 12 monthly arrears incentive payments.

      • Up to $20 million in arrears incentive payments for business customers.

      • Up to $5 million for new COVID-19 recovery assistance grants for commercial, industrial and small business customers.

August 2, 2020 - 11:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, National Grid, covid-19.

Press release:

National Grid is proposing up to $50 million in COVID-19 relief to support the company’s most economically vulnerable residential customers as well as businesses that are struggling because of the financial impact of the pandemic.

The company will work with New York Public Service Commission staff, customer advocates and other stakeholders to determine how best to allocate the assistance to those most in need across its upstate New York service area.

“From the onset of this pandemic we made the commitment to help our customers during these challenging times and we recognize that we have an important opportunity to provide additional customer assistance beyond what we currently offer through our COVID-19 programs and rate plans,” said John Bruckner, National Grid’s New York president.

He noted that the company will use deferral account credits to provide immediate COVID-19 financial assistance and will work with PSC staff and other parties to determine eligibility and program details. There also will be an opportunity for public input during the PSC comment period as the programs are being defined.

The company’s plan to provide additional customer assistance will be filed separately from its request to reset delivery rates beginning in July 2021 so that the customer financial support could be considered and implemented more quickly than the required 11-month rate proceeding process.

“We know our customers continue to struggle during this pandemic and this is a way for us to provide some near-term relief,” Bruckner said.

Enhanced Customer Support Programs Included in the 2021 Rate Filing

National Grid’s current three-year rate agreement expires March 31, 2021 and the company has submitted a request for new delivery prices beginning in July 2021. The new rates would cover the costs of providing service to upstate New York customers and includes enhanced energy affordability programs and services, continued deployment of economic development programs that grow the economy, and unprecedented investment in energy efficiency and demand response programs to help customers manage their energy usage and bills.

Under the proposal, residential electricity customers would see an average bill increase of 4 percent or $3.43 per month. Residential gas customers would see an average bill increase of 6 percent or $4.53 per month. The company originally planned to file a request for new rates in April but delayed that filing until July 31 due to COVID-19.

“We made the decision to delay this proposal so that we could use the time over the last few months to refine and reduce the amount of our request,” Bruckner said. “We worked hard to strike a balance between what is needed in the near term to maintain and improve reliability and further support our customers, and we postponed other initiatives to later years to lessen the financial impact on customers.”

While National Grid has filed a one-year plan, Bruckner noted the company hopes to work with PSC staff, customer advocates and other stakeholders to reach a multi-year agreement that would phase in new rates to further mitigate customer bill impacts. Reaching a settlement that spreads the increase over three years and includes deferral credits and other offsets, for example, could reduce the first-year delivery price impacts by more than half.

“We know we are not operating in a business-as-usual climate,” Bruckner said. “We will doeverything we can to work with PSC staff and other stakeholders to reach a multi-year settlement thatmaintains affordability, mitigates bill impacts and supports New York’s economic recovery. At thesame time, we need to adjust rates to cover the costs of providing service and we must remain financially healthy to attract the necessary capital to finance our operations, which will lower costs forcustomers in the long run.”

The company’s filing would impact only energy delivery prices. There are two components of an energy bill: delivery charges and supply charges. Delivery charges reflect the ongoing cost of operating and maintaining the natural gas and electricity networks – including investments to ensure a resilient grid in the face of more frequent and damaging storms and the integration of clean energy resources. Supply prices are set by the market, not National Grid, and the company does not profit from the sale of energy supply. Customers also have the option to buy their energy supply from a third-party provider.

Under New York public service law, rate cases are an 11-month process that will include a number of opportunities for public input.

National Grid’s upstate New York electricity business serves 1.6 million customers in more than 450 cities and towns across 24,000 square miles. The gas distribution business serves more than 600,000 customers across portions of Central, Northern and Eastern New York.

May 6, 2020 - 11:27am
posted by Billie Owens in scams, Fraud, crime, news, National Grid, covid-19.

Press release:

National Grid is warning Western New York customers to beware of a new phone scam where imposters are demanding immediate bill payment and threatening service disconnection.

This latest scam, which is targeting customers already facing hardships due to COVID-19, involves callers who pretend to be National Grid representatives.

They tell customers that unless payment is made within 30 minutes, their power will be shut off. The customer is then directed to call “the direct billing department to make a payment and avoid power disconnection.”

The scammers use sophisticated phone systems that display National Grid on the customer’s caller ID.

Additionally, the phone number customers are instructed to call closely resembles the company’s recorded messaging and phone prompt directions. These elements make it difficult to differentiate an actual National Grid call from an imposter’s call.

When in doubt, customers should hang up and call the National Grid customer service number on their bill.

National Grid reminds customers that on March 13, the company temporarily suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company continues to encourage customers struggling to pay their bills to take advantage of bill payment options or to call to speak with one of our Consumer Advocates.

Additional Tips to Protect Against Scams

National Grid urges customers to be cautious of scammers and offers the following tips:

  • National Grid representatives will know your account number; never offer that information to a caller.

  • Ask the caller to provide the last five digits of your National Grid account number. If thecaller doesn’t know your account number, asks questions about your account balance and associated details, or if you have any doubt the caller is a National Grid representative, please take charge and immediately hang up. Call National Grid or local law enforcement officials to report the incident.

  • National Grid will not contact customers demanding immediate payment by wire transfer, Green Dot Money-Pak or any other prepaid card service.

  • Never -- under any circumstances -- offer personal or financial information to someone who you cannot identify.

  • For more information on scams, click here.

April 4, 2020 - 10:33am
posted by Billie Owens in National Grid, news, covid-19.

Press release:

With so many new and unanticipated pressures at this uncertain time, we at National Grid know that you and millions of others are relying on us, now more than ever.

As you are spending more time at home, depending on us for the energy to keep your family comfortable, we take our role as an essential service provider very seriously.

To Ease Some of the Burden

It may also help to know that your energy service will continue even if you’re having trouble paying your bill at this time of disruption.

  • Your service will not be shut off if you can’t pay.
  • You won’t be charged new fees for late payment.
  • You may qualify for emergency home energy assistance grants. Visit ngrid.com/discount.
  • Your regular billing and due dates remain unchanged. We offer assistance programs and options providing more time to pay. For help, click here.

These policies will remain in effect through at least the end of April.

If you are struggling to pay your bill, please let us know. We encourage you to reach out to our consumer advocates and your local government and community organizations, many of whom we are working together with to provide support.

Helping You Save

Your energy use may also increase and we want to help you manage that. A variety of tips and resources are available at ngrid.com/save. In the meantime, here are a few simple suggestions to get you started at home:

  • Lower your water heater setting to 120 degrees.
  • Turn off lights and appliances, TVs, stereos and computers when not in use.
  • Dry only full loads of laundry – remember to clean the lint filter.
  • Turn on your dishwasher’s energy-saver switch to use less water and lower water heating bills.

We’re in this together.

Please continue doing business with us at your convenience online. To set up an account for the first time, visit this regional link:

Upstate New York

You can still reach us by calling the number on your bill. We are ready to serve you. As we’ve adapted, many of our customer service agents are currently working from home. You may experience longer wait times or hear some occasional background noise; we ask for your understanding.

We are Here for You When You Need Us

Your health and safety, and that of our employees, is paramount. We’ve had to modify our operations as we are working hard to supply energy to homes and businesses.

We will continue to provide critical services you count on:

  • Responding to emergencies
  • Performing essential maintenance and safety inspections
  • Requests for critical issues, including turning on service
  • Ensuring reliable service to you and all customers

Nonessential work, requiring us to enter your home or business, has been put on hold:

  • Some planned maintenance
  • Manual meter reads
  • Energy efficiency services

Our crews are taking additional precautionary measures, practicing social distancing and following CDC guidelines. If you have a scheduled appointment with us for a critical service, please call if you wish to postpone or if anyone in your home is ill or quarantined. We can assist you with rescheduling.

Please stay connected with us. Visit online here to find updates on our services, our COVID-19 pandemic response plan efforts, and FAQs to assist you as you navigate this difficult time.

We are here for you and all our customers across the communities in which we live and are proud to serve.

March 24, 2020 - 11:43am
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, news, National Grid.

Press release:

National Grid has taken another step to reduce the coronavirus’ financial strain and economic uncertainty on Upstate New York customers by deferring a bill increase that was scheduled to take effect April 1.

The company has asked New York regulators for permission to postpone the previously approved gas and electricity delivery price increases in recognition of the unprecedented hardships the COVID-19 outbreak continues to bring to families across the region.

“We have made the commitment to help our customers through these challenging times and this is another step on that journey,” said Badar Khan, National Grid’s Interim U.S. president. “We will continue to closely monitor our customers’ needs during the pandemic and find new ways to assist where we can.”

In today’s filing, National Grid requested a three-month delay in implementing the increases that were approved as part of a multiparty agreement to reset electricity and gas delivery prices.

The agreement calls for an approximately 4-percent increase in electricity bills and a 5-percent increase in natural gas bills to support investments in infrastructure safety and integrity, and enhancements to energy efficiency and other customer-focused initiatives.

The Company has asked for those increases, as well as a required April 1 update to the low-income customer credit that would reduce the currently available discount to qualifying customers, to be delayed until July 1.

National Grid also has asked that the Public Service Commission defer until the summer any rate increases in the pending gas rate cases for Downstate New York.

Our Continuing Customer Commitment

             National Grid has committed to a number of actions to keep customer and employee well-being and safety the priority during the international pandemic. They include:

  • Suspending collections-related activities, including service disconnections and late payment charges, to lessen any financial hardship the COVID-19 pandemic may have on customers.
  • Dedicating $500,000 to community-based organizations across its U.S. business to help support many of the basic customer and community needs being interrupted.
  • Encouraging customers who are struggling to pay their National Grid bill to take advantage of a variety of payment and billing options designed to make transactions easy and convenient. 
  • Offering the expertise of our Consumer Advocates, who provide crisis intervention support for customers in need, working closely with county Social Services and community assistance organizations.

Additional details on National Grid’s pandemic preparedness, associated actions and a customer Q&A can be found at ngrid.com/covid-19.

March 19, 2020 - 6:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in National Grid, covid-19, news.

Press release:

As conditions evolve with the COVID-19 pandemic, National Grid is providing an update on its services. 

Ensuring the health and safety of our customers and our employees remains our top priority. We will continue to focus on delivering essential customer services, while temporarily suspending nonessential work. 

Services Continuing

  • Emergency response – As always, please contact us for all gas and electricity-related emergencies.
  • Electricity and gas service – We have a comprehensive emergency response plan in place to keep the lights on and the gas flowing.
  • Customer-requested service – We will continue to respond as usual to essential customer needs, such as turning on or off gas or electric services (i.e., for customer moves) — subject to municipal permitting and work restrictions. 
  • Regular billing and ability to make payments – Our regular billing process will continue. Customers are encouraged to manage their accounts online. We offer a variety of  payment and billing options designed to make transactions easy and convenient. 

Services Temporarily Paused

  • Collections activities & disconnections – We have temporarily suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections. Customers needing assistance, can view our help making payments page for more information or call to speak with one of our Customer Advocates. Note: Call wait times may be longer than usual.
  • Non-essential planned electric outages – We know many individuals are working from home and children are home from school. We are limiting planned service interruptions during this time. 
  • Non-essential electric & gas related services – Planned maintenance and services such as manual meter reads, oil-to-gas conversions, gas service upgrades, and meter changes, may decrease the ability to keep social distance. You will be notified of appointment cancellations. 
  • Energy efficiency on-premise services – We are temporarily suspending all energy efficiency service activities that require home or business visits, such as energy audits. 
  • New York City and Long Island walk-in payment offices – Our National Grid downstate New York payment offices are temporarily closed. For additional payment options, visit ngrid.com/billpay. If you are a cash paying customer, please visit a Western Union location.

We appreciate your attention to this information and value your support. For updates and information on this evolving situation, please continue to visit our website regarding COVID-19.

Sincerely,

Gregory Knight 
Chief Customer Officer

March 19, 2020 - 5:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in National Grid, news, high winds, weather.

Press release:

National Grid is increasing staffing and closely monitoring Friday’s weather forecast (March 20), which calls for high winds, with gusts of up to 60 mph, across portions of Upstate New York. The company’s field force is at normal staffing levels and remains at the ready if the storm impacts service. Customers are encouraged to keep safety a priority with the following reminders:

           Electricity & Generator Safety

  • If a power outage occurs, customers can notify National Grid online to expedite restoration.

  • Never touch downed power lines; always assume they are carrying live electricity. Downed power lines should immediately be reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 9-1-1.

  • Generators used to supply power during an outage must be operated outdoors to prevent the buildup of deadly carbon monoxideBefore operating a generator, be sure todisconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker, located in theelectric service panel. Failure to do this could endanger our crews and your neighbors.

  • Customers who depend on electrically powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should register as a life support customer by calling National Grid at 1-800-642-4272. In a medical emergency, always dial 9-1-1.

  • Keep working flashlights and an extra supply of batteries in your home and be sure to charge all electronic devices before the storm.

  • Please use caution when driving near emergency responders and crews restoring power.

  • Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.

    Stay informed and connected

    Information on National Grid’s pandemic preparedness and a customer Q&A can be found here.

  • Customers with active electricity accounts who text "REG" to 64743 can have personalized alerts sent to them via text, email or phone call when we detect an outage on their properties.

  • Customers also can text "OUT" to 64743 to report an outage.

  • For real-time power outage information, online outage reporting, and in-depth storm safety information, visit National Grid’s Outage Central website. Customers who create an online profile also can sign up for email alerts.

  • Visit our website.

March 18, 2020 - 3:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, news, National Grid.

Press release:

National Grid is directing $500,000 to support customers affected by the health impacts, financial hardships and disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding will provide immediate relief to families and individuals in need and bolster efforts by local organizations to assist communities across Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.

"We are committed to helping our customers through the difficult times and unchartered challenges associated with this pandemic," said Badar Khan, National Grid’s interim U.S. president. “We recognize this is an unprecedented and rapidly changing situation. We want to do our part to look out for our customers and protect the communities where we live and serve.”

A portion of the funds will be dedicated directly to National Grid’s customers experiencing financial hardship. The Company will also work with community-based organizations and funds to help support many of the basic needs being interrupted.

The following represents a sampling of some of the programs and funds that will be targeted:

  • The United Way Rhode Island Crisis Fund 
  • The Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund 
  • Boston Resiliency Fund
  • The United Way of Central MA "We Care Fund"
  • Island Harvest on Long Island
  • The United Way and other organizations across our New York footprint

In addition, National Grid has taken the following steps to further protect the safety and well-being of our customers and employees: 

  • Suspending collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardship the COVID-19 pandemic may have on customers;
  • Encouraging customers who are struggling to pay their National Grid bill to contact the company as soon as possible for assistance;
  • Offering the expertise of our Consumer Advocates, who provide crisis intervention support for customers in need, working closely with state and county Social Services and community assistance organizations;
  • Requiring our employees to take precautionary measures before entering a customer’s home to limit exposure to our customers and our workforce.   

“Ensuring the health and safety of our employees and customers is our number one priority,” Khan said. “We have a comprehensive emergency response plan in place to keep the lights on and the gas flowing for our customers. Our pandemic team is meeting daily and we’re closely monitoring all developments associated with this evolving and complex situation.”

Khan noted that the Company also is sharing its preparedness plans with regulators, federal, state and local officials, emergency response organizations, customers and other key stakeholders. Additional information on National Grid’s pandemic preparedness and a customer Q&A can be found here.

“We will continue to closely monitor our customers’ needs during the pandemic and find new ways to assist where we can,” Khan said.

March 14, 2020 - 4:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in National Grid, covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

National Grid has temporarily suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardship the COVID-19 pandemic may have on our customers.

The decision is part of the company’s pandemic preparedness plan, which is designed to mitigate the impact the virus has on our customers, our workforce and our ability to deliver safe, reliable electricity and natural gas to our customers.

“We recognize that this pandemic has brought many challenges for our customers and we want to do our part to lessen any financial impact they may face as the result of the outbreak,” said Badar Khan, National Grid’s interim U.S. president. “We are committed to our customers’ well-being during this difficult time.”

The company’s decision to temporarily suspend service terminations and collections-related activities is effective immediately.  

The company also has implemented the following employee-related actions, which will remain in place as we continue to closely monitor the pandemic:

  • Limiting external meeting attendance and external visitors at National Grid facilities to operationally critical activities that are required to deliver gas and electricity to our customers;
  • Restricting travel between National Grid office locations, except for operationally critical activities;
  • Stopping all international business-related travel;
  • Elevating the level of cleaning and disinfecting at all company facilities.

“Ensuring the health and safety of our employees and customers is our number one priority,” Khan said. “We have a comprehensive emergency response plan in place to keep the lights on and the gas flowing for our customers.

"Our pandemic team is meeting daily and we’re closely monitoring all developments associated with this evolving and complex virus.”

Khan noted that the company also is sharing its preparedness plans with regulators, federal, state and local officials, emergency response organizations, customers and other key stakeholders.

“We will continue to closely monitor this situation, review and adjust our policies and ways of working as necessary, and will keep the lines of communications open with our employees, customers and all stakeholders,” he said.

January 30, 2020 - 11:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, business, alexander, National Grid.

Press release:

National Grid has approved an economic development grant totaling $127,000 to offset costs related to an upgrade to three-phase electricity power at McCormick Family Dairy Farm in Alexander.

As part of an upgrade, the owners of the farm are planning to install new equipment that will keep their 2,500 cows healthy, save the company money and add power to run fans, motors and improve product quality.

“We frequently work with small businesses and agribusiness customers that are looking to grow but may be limited due to lack of three-phase power at their site,” said National Grid Regional Director Ken Kujawa.

“McCormick Family Farms had examined other potential alternatives to meet their new and growing electricity needs. By working with them, it was determined that three-phase power is the appropriate solution to meet the farm’s electric load.”

The grant was made through National Grid’s Three-Phase Power Incentive program, which provides grants to fund the extension of three-phase electricity service to eligible National Grid customers.

More information about National Grid’s economic development programs is available at www.shovelready.com.

January 5, 2020 - 9:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in National Grid, power outage, news.

A power outage has hit a major portion of the east side of Genesee County with more than 5,000 National Grid customers without power.

National Grid reports it is assessing the situation. There is no estimated time for power restoration at this time.

The power outage affects Le Roy, much of Stafford, Bethany, Byron, and South Byron and into Bergen.

UPDATE 11:10 a.m.: Crews have been assigned. Estimated time of restoration, 5:15 p.m.

UPDATE 3:26 p.m.: We're not sure when power was restored but according to National Grid, power has been restored to all but fewer than five customers.

September 5, 2019 - 10:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Quaker Houghton, batavia, business, National Grid.

Press release:

National Grid has approved a $100,000 economic development grant that Quaker Houghton will use to offset costs related to new electricity service. The new service is necessary to support a building expansion and installation of state-of-the-art equipment at its 4d Treadeasy Ave. facility.

“National Grid is often part of the discussions and works with manufacturers like Quaker Houghton that are planning expansions and need upgrades to their energy infrastructures,” said National Grid Regional Director Ken Kujawa.

“Projects like these that support investments in local businesses are those that can help our customers lower their operating costs, be better positioned to compete and meet customer demand.”

The grant was made through National Grid’s Electric Capital Investment Incentive program. The program is among a suite of economic development programs offered by the company to offset customer costs related to upgrading electricity infrastructure needed to accommodate expansion or new construction project.

More information about National Grid’s economic development programs is available at www.shovelready.com.

July 11, 2019 - 3:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, news, National Grid, notify.

Press release from National Grid:

Weather forecasts are calling for strong winds and thunderstorms across large portions of New York this afternoon and into the evening. While National Grid is preparing its crews and storm response plans, we also urge customers to be safe and ready.

The company offers the following tips to help customers be prepared and stay safe:

Electricity & Generator Safety

  • National Grid customers should call 1-800-867-5222 to report a power outage, or to report any downed wires.

  • Customers are urged to stay away from all downed wires, and anything those wires might be touching like tree limbs or fencing.

  • Generators used to supply power during an outage must be operated outdoors. Before operating a generator, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off themain breaker, located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could endanger restoration crews, first responders and your neighbors.

  • Customers who depend on electrically powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should register as a life support customer by calling National Grid at 1-800-642-4272. (In a medical emergency, always dial 9-1-1.)

  • Keep a number of working flashlights and an extra supply of batteries in your home. Also, make sure to keep mobile devices charged.

  • Please drive carefully and use caution when driving near any repair crews working to restore power.

  • Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.

National Grid also advises staying tuned to local media for important announcements from emergency officials about possible evacuations or other emergency procedures. In most areas, information on storm shelter locations is available by calling 2-1-1.

Stay Connected

National Grid offers several ways to stay informed and safe – before, during and after a storm:

  • We can send personalized alerts by text, e-mail or phone call when an outage is detected ata customer’s address, restoration estimates are available, or weather warnings have beenissued. To enroll, customers can call National Grid or text REG to 64743.

  • For real-time power outage information, online outage reporting, and in-depth storm safety information, visit the Outage Central section of www.nationalgridus.com. Customers who create an online profile on our website can also sign up for email alerts.

  • To receive text message alerts and updates from National Grid, text the word STORM to NGRID (64743).

  • Online and text alert services can be started and stopped at the customer’s request.

  • Visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com

June 12, 2019 - 5:17pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, National Grid, Batavia City Council.

The Batavia City Council may consider exploring a “brighter” future for its residents through participation in the National Grid LED Streetlight Conversion program.

At Monday night’s Business Meeting at City Hall, the board heard from Paul Gister, customer and community management manager for National Grid, who presented three options designed to save money and direct more light upon city streets.

Gister said the power company offers three options for towns and villages in Upstate New York.

In this case, the City can:

-- Purchase the lighting system owned by National Grid;
-- Opt-in when a high-pressure sodium fixture fails and replace it with an LED;
-- Pay the net book value of its remaining high-pressure sodium fixtures on roadway lighting only (not decorative or post-top lamps) and change it to LED.

“There are currently 946 fixtures owned and maintained by National Grid that could be converted to LED, with the net book value of about $1.50 per head,” Gister said. “That puts the value at around $1,500.

“Since the value is less than the energy efficient dollars that National Grid would pay out (that would be a viable option for Batavia).”

Gister said that National Grid pays in the $50 to $100 range per fixture for LED conversions, which translates into at least $47,000 in incentives to the City.

He also noted that National Grid would provide the labor for the conversions while City officials would choose the wattage (or strength) of the LED bulbs, which provide better lighting more efficiently.

The program started in Massachusetts about four years ago, Gister said, and came to Upstate New York in 2016 after authorization by the NYS Public Service Commission.

The Town of Batavia was one of the first municipalities to sign up for the program (in 2017) and since then 10 towns and villages in this area have converted, Gister said.

“And the remaining 40 or so are somewhere in the process – either considering it or getting ready for conversion,” he said.

City Council President Eugene Jankowski touted the savings, improved lighting and incentives as reason to discuss the matter further.

Council Member Adam Tabelski noted that many communities are buying back the complete light fixtures from National Grid and finding significant savings.

“I’d like to look at both options, and if any analysis has been done, I’d like to see it,” he said. “If we owned the infrastructure, maybe we would realize more savings.”

To which Jankowski replied that Council should look at all the options.

Gister said he hopes that Council would eventually provide National Grid with a recommendation and move forward with the LED conversion. If that happens, the utility would bill the City for the net value of the fixture heads, approximately $1,500.

May 31, 2019 - 9:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in National Grid, power outage, batavia, news.

As many as 24 customers are without power in the area of Highland Park and Pringle Avenue, according to National Grid.

The power outage was reported at 8:39 a.m., about the time a loud boom -- possibly a transformer -- was heard in the neighborhood.

National Grid estimates power will be restored by 10:45 a.m.

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