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National Grid

National Grid: Power may not be restored until Thursday for some in NNY

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The wait is still on for many in the north country without power, a spokesperson from National Grid said.

“I think it’s very likely that there are going to be customers without power into tomorrow,” Jared Paventi, strategic communications manager for National Grid, said Wednesday.

National Grid is estimating the tri-county region restoration time to be 11:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the outage website Wednesday night.

National Grid said that as of 6 p.m. Wednesday it had restored service to 34,000 of the 66,000 customers in Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence and Franklin counties affected by the storm. About 177,000 customers were affected across New York on Wednesday.

Restoration times depend on what repairs are needed in a given area.

“It’s tough to say, especially at this early point because we don’t know where the big time-consuming damage is,” Paventi said.

He said that once crews can pinpoint the damage, then they can clear the debris and start repairs.

The wind and rain caused damage to the electric transmission and distribution systems.

“The damage to our infrastructure was extensive, particularly in the most remote parts of our Northern New York service area,” Matt Barnett, vice president of New York Electric Operations for National Grid, said in a news release Wednesday evening. “Safely restoring service in these areas is time- and labor-intensive. We understand the inconvenience of being without power, and our crews are out in full force to restore service to our customers as quickly and safely as possible.”

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National Grid to improve gas service in downtown Watertown

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Evening work on Wednesday along Arsenal Street will require road closure and detours

WATERTOWN, NY — National Grid is improving service to area customers by upgrading its downtown Watertown gas delivery network beginning later this month. Crews will replace an existing service line on Arsenal Street near Jefferson County Office Building and Court House.

To minimize impacts to local businesses and government offices, work will be completed at night. Crews will close Arsenal Street from Sherman Street to Arcade Street between at 6 p.m., Oct. 26 and 6 a.m., Oct. 27.

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National Grid residential natural gas customers can expect a 39% price hike

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WATERTOWN — National Grid utility customers who heat their homes with natural gas can expect to pay approximately 39% more in the upcoming home-heating season.

A National Grid spokeswoman, in a conference call on Tuesday, said that would translate on average to a winter heating bill of $943 for the season, or $263 over the current year.

The five-month home heating season runs from Nov. 1 to March 31. National Grid says the average residential customer uses 713 therms in that period.

“Therm” is the unit of measurement of natural gas over time. One therm is equal to 100,000 British thermal units, BTUs.

The 713 average figure relates to the “upstate” New York region. National Grid doesn’t calculate average seasonal therms down to individual regions like Northern New York.

Tuesday’s announcement by National Grid was a comparatively early annual pricing forecast by the utility company, which usually releases such data in October.

“We considered how market volatility would impact our customers and wanted to offer as much time as possible so that they might be able to better prepare homes, and certainly assess budgets for the winter heating season,” said Melanie Littlejohn, vice president of customer and community engagement for National Grid.

She said the primary cause for the price jump is the wholesale price of the natural gas supply.

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National Grid offers tips on reducing energy consumption during summer

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WATERTOWN — National Grid is reminding customers of ways to reduce energy consumption during the summer months.

National Grid issued a news release on Tuesday about free and low-cost methods of reducing energy consumption when the weather is hot.

Closing window drapes and blinds during the day can block the sun’s light and heat into homes, according to National Grid. Running fans along with air conditioning units creates a windchill effect by distributing and circulating cold air throughout a room. Changing or cleaning the reusable filter in your air conditioner can improve air flow and efficiency.

National Grid also offers a Budget Billing Plan, in which customers pay a monthly amount based on their average energy usage. This spreads the cost out to provide a predictable monthly payment amount, according to National Grid.

“We periodically review accounts and adjust payment amounts to keep customers on track if their usage increases or decreases,” the news release said. “Participation is free of charge and can be discontinued at any time without penalty.”

Before it gets too hot, National Grid has a few tips.

— Have your central air conditioner checked. Just like you have your furnace serviced and cleaned each fall, you should have your central air conditioning system checked. Professionals will perform a comprehensive examination on your outside condenser and inside fan to ensure your system is working at peak efficiency.

— Replace your air conditioner’s air filter. Dirty air filters on central and room air conditioning systems can choke off the flow of air to your home’s ventilation system. Changing your filter as directed by the manufacturer not only permits air to flow freely, it helps your air conditioning run more efficiently.

— Vacuum your air intake vents and keep them clear. Dust builds up on your home’s air returns, and a couple of minutes with a vacuum can keep the air flow moving. Move toys, furniture and other objects away from the intake vent to keep air moving.

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National Grid gearing up for possible severe thunderstorms Wednesday

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WATERTOWN — National Grid is gearing up for possible severe thunderstorms on Wednesday.

The utility issued a notice on Tuesday that the agency has increased staffing and extended evening and overnight work shifts to prepare for the thunderstorms that are forecast to hit Central and Northern New York today.

Meteorologists are predicting strong winds with potentially damaging gusts and dangerous lightning.

“In the event of a power outage, our crews and support teams will be working for as long as needed to restore service as soon as conditions are safe,” the notice stated.

National Grid offered some reminders on how to prepare for a storm.

Keep flashlights and extra batteries on hand and make sure mobile devices are fully charged so you can stay connected in the event of an outage. For more information, visit ngrid.com/outagecentral.

If you see a downed power line, keep away from it and anything it may be in contact with. Downed lines should be immediately reported by calling National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or 911.

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National Grid donates 54 coats to Watertown CSD, more coats to come from local fire department

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WATERTOWN — As the cold winter months stretch on ahead of us, not everyone has access to the necessary clothing to adequately protect themselves against the elements.

Less than a week before Christmas, National Grid spread some holiday cheer to the Watertown City School District in the form of donated coats to keep students warm through the winter. In total, National Grid donated 54 coats Monday to Ohio Elementary, to be distributed to students in need.

Gwendolyn D. Sanders, community manager for National Grid for Central New York, Northern New York and the Mohawk Valley, had the idea to donate coats after driving by a school one day and seeing students walking in the cold wearing hoodies or jean jackets rather than proper winter coats. She went to her supervisor to ask if National Grid could pull together a coat drive to gather 50 or so coats, to which the supervisor not only said to go for it, but to do more if they could.

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