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Tuesday, October 09, 2018
Columbia Gas Announces Details on Streamlined 'House-Ready' Process for Greater Lawrence Area Customers
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Columbia Gas of Massachusetts today announced updates to its plan to restore service to the Greater Lawrence area. That "House-Ready" process will align with the "Gas-Ready" process for replacing the damaged pipeline system with new piping by November 19, 2018.

Customers can now track restoration projects in their neighborhoods on an interactive map launched on the Columbia Gas website this week. This map will be updated regularly. Columbia Gas is also publishing a 72-hour work schedule indicating which streets will be visited by work teams to begin assessments and installations. Customers should make arrangements to have an adult home when their street is listed, understanding this process could take more than one day. Please visit: https://www.columbiagas.com/massachusetts/restoration to learn about the updated "House-Ready" process.

Making a home "House-Ready" requires a number of steps, and Columbia Gas and its contract partner Gilbane Reconstruction Services (GRS) are seeking to minimize the disruption to homeowners by streamlining the process and limiting the number of visits needed to a home or business to restore natural gas service. The previously announced assessment phase will now be included as part of the installation process. This entire process includes assessments, repairs, appliance installations, and safety inspections.

What happens during the House Ready Process?
There will be a series of work teams entering homes during the House Ready process. The work teams will complete as many of the below steps as possible during their visit.

  • ASSESSMENT: Work teams will evaluate and inventory natural gas appliances including boilers, furnaces, water heaters, ranges and/or dryers. Photos will be taken to document which natural gas appliances have been impacted. (Note: Some customers have already received an assessment. If that is the case, the teams will verify the information.)

    In many cases, the teams will need to test for the presence of hazardous materials. The top priority is safety. Work teams will follow applicable regulations and guidelines, and will mitigate hazardous materials with trained professionals. This could extend the timeframe of the installation work in homes. 

  • DISCONNECT/REMOVAL: Work teams will remove natural gas appliances including boilers, furnaces, water heaters, ranges and/or dryers. Any additional specialty natural gas appliances (i.e. fireplaces, pool heaters, gas grills, etc.) will be disconnected and disabled at this time. Specialty natural gas appliances will be subject to further repair or replacement by the property owner through the claims process at 1-800-590-5571.

  • RE-INSTALLATION AND RE-CONNECTION: Work teams will install new appliances and equipment in homes and reconnect them to the natural gas system. Work teams will also pressure test in-home natural gas piping to see if it is damaged. If a home or business passes the pressure test, Columbia Gas will install the natural gas furnace, or boiler, water heater, and standard range and dryer if applicable. If a home or business does not pass the pressure test, Columbia Gas will repair or replace the natural gas piping, and work teams may need to schedule a follow-up visit to complete this repair.

  • SAFETY INSPECTIONS: Once a home or business passes all necessary safety inspections, a green tag will be attached near the meter bar, indicating that the home or business is "House-Ready."

In many cases, this process of repairs and safety inspections will take more than one day to complete. If the home owner does not select the standard offering of appliances, specialty orders will be installed when available and could be delayed by several weeks.

Even if customers choose to purchase and install their own appliances, work teams will still need to conduct the assessment, disconnect and remove damaged appliances, and repair in-home gas lines.

Once your home or business is both "House-Ready" and "Gas-Ready", Columbia Gas will perform final safety checks, relight your natural gas appliances and initiate service.

About Columbia Gas of Massachusetts
Columbia Gas of Massachusetts delivers clean, affordable and efficient natural gas to over 320,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Massachusetts, the greater Springfield area and the Merrimack Valley. Headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts, the company is the largest gas-only provider in the state and is one of NiSource's seven regulated utility companies. NiSource (NYSE:NI) is one of the largest fully-regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.5 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. More information about Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is available at www.ColumbiaGasMA.com.

About NiSource
NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) is one of the largest fully-regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.5 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers across seven states through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. Based in Merrillville, Indiana, NiSource's approximately 8,000 employees are focused on safely delivering reliable and affordable energy to our customers and communities we serve. NiSource has been designated a World's Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute since 2012, is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability - North America Index and was named by Forbes magazine as the top-rated utility among America's Best Large Employers in 2017. Additional information about NiSource, its investments in modern infrastructure and systems, its commitments and its local brands can be found at www.nisource.com. Follow us at www.facebook.com/nisource, www.linkedin.com/company/nisource or www.twitter.com/nisourceinc.

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View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/columbia-gas-announces-details-on-streamlined-house-ready-process-for-greater-lawrence-area-customers-300727946.html

SOURCE Columbia Gas of Massachusetts

 

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Posted In Community, Customers, Safety, Financials, Company

Written By News Desk, NiSource

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