National Grid USA has started to restore natural gas service to about 1,000 downstate New York customers affected by an ongoing moratorium on gas hookups, after state regulators threatened millions of dollars in fines against the utility.
"We've begun the process of contacting and reconnecting natural gas service to residential customers in Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties who were previously disconnected from our system more than two years ago, no longer accounted for in our supply portfolio and denied re-connection under our current connection restriction guidelines," John Bruckner, president of National Grid New York, said in an Oct. 14 news release.
As part of its reconnection efforts, National Grid activated its emergency response plan that includes a cross-functional team that will execute the reconnection. Due to downstate supply issues, the company said current restrictions on service connection will remain effective for all other customers who have requested new or expanded service.
National Grid aims to restore service to most of its customers by mid-November, Bruckner added.
To address issues related to constraints on Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC's existing interstate pipeline network serving National Grid, the utility said it will install portable compressed gas stations and add more gas supply from spot commodity markets.
"We'll continue to cooperate with the [New York Public Service Commission] and all other parties to address these important supply and customer connection issues," Bruckner said.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Oct. 11 announced an order for National Grid to restore service to its downstate customers. The order stems from the New York Department of Public Service's investigation into reports that National Grid refused to reconnect existing customers who had suspended service prior to the start of the moratorium.