AVANGRID Offers Cold Weather Tips

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Dec 012019

United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, subsidiaries of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), are urging customers to take measures to stay safe and warm during the bitterly cold weather that is forecast for the region.

Temperatures are expected to plunge into the single digits overnight, with potential wind chills dropping well below zero. Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has activated the state’s cold weather protocol.

UI, SCG, and CNG warned that the risk of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, exposure, and other hazards can increase during bitterly cold weather. They urged customers to take measures to remain safe during the cold snap.

Staying Warm

If you are unable to keep your home safely and comfortably heated, call Infoline at 211 for resources that can help you and your family.

Exposure to extreme cold can cause serious medical conditions including hypothermia and frostbite. To avoid them, stay indoors if possible and wear warm clothing, including head covering and gloves or mittens.

For information about frostbite, hypothermia, and other concerns, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/index.html.

Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Fire and carbon monoxide poisoning incidents rise during cold weather, as a result of malfunctioning appliances, poor ventilation and improper use of heat sources. Place smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home, outside of sleeping areas and inside each bedroom. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly to make sure the batteries are working, and replace the batteries at least twice a year.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and tasteless toxic gas. It is a product of fuel combustion, and a buildup can result from a furnace or space heater problem. Symptoms of CO poisoning can mimic flu.

For more information about fire and carbon monoxide dangers, visit the National Fire Protection Association: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Put-A-Freeze-on-Winter-Fires.

Stove and Range

The stove, range, and other kitchen appliances are designed for cooking. Do not use them to heat your home. Use them only as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions.

Space Heaters

Use only space heaters that have been tested and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and never use a device designed for outdoor use indoors. Place the space heater on a level surface away from foot traffic, at least 3 feet from combustible materials. Inspect the cord for fraying, and after plugging it in, periodically feel the cord near the outlet to make sure the plastic is not getting hot. Do not run the cord under a rug or carpeting, and never use an extension cord for a space heater. Keep children and pets away, and turn off the space heater when you leave the area.

More space heater safety information can be found on the U.S. Department of Energy website, at https://energy.gov/energysaver/portable-heaters.

Heating, Hot Water and Plumbing

Keep the furnace area clear of flammable materials and keep vents clear to provide a good air supply to your heating system to ensure proper combustion.

Water pipes that are exposed to cold temperatures may freeze and burst. Don’t ignore drips or odd noises from your heating system — call your heating company to investigate. Wrap exposed pipes in your basement with pipe insulation to help them retain heat.

The American Red Cross offers additional tips for avoiding frozen pipes at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm/preventing-thawing-frozen-pipes.

UI — Wet, Windy Nor’easter: Sign Up For Outage Alerts

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Oct 162019

United Illuminating, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., is monitoring forecasts and preparing for a predicted Nor’easter that could bring heavy rain and strong, gusty winds across the state Wednesday evening and throughout the day Thursday.

Forecasters predict rain starting Wednesday afternoon and winds that are expected to intensify overnight, with gusts reaching 40-45 mph and continuing through Thursday evening. These wet, windy conditions could damage trees and take down power lines, potentially causing service disruptions.

Customers are urged to monitor weather forecasts, stay safe and have a plan in case of an extended service outage lasting a day or more. To sign up to receive free UI Outage Alerts and restoration updates on mobile devices, customers can text “REG” to 839-884, or visit uinet.com for additional alert options.

UI has been preparing for the storm by creating staffing plans for restoration personnel, securing contractors, fueling and servicing vehicles, and ensuring adequate stock of wires, poles, transformers and other equipment. The company will work with local and state emergency officials to prioritize public safety and restoration of critical services.

Customers are advised to stay far away from downed utility lines and anything that may be in contact with them. Downed lines can be live and dangerous even if they don’t appear to be energized. Report them to UI at 800.722.5584 (800.7.CALL.UI).

The company offers the following storm preparation and safety tips:

Before a Storm:

  • Sign up for Outage Alerts. Text “REG” to 839-884 to receive free text alerts if you lose service, and for restoration updates. Or, visit uinet.com for additional alert options.
  • Keep long-lasting LED flashlights and lanterns on hand, along with a battery-operated radio, fresh batteries, drinking water, non-perishable foods and prescription medications.
  • Fully charge mobile devices and store emergency contacts in memory.
  • Fuel your vehicles.

Medical and Life Support Customers:

  • Customers who rely on life-saving medical equipment should have a plan in case of a sudden or extended loss of service. UI medical and life-support customers should register in advance to ensure we are aware of your needs as we proceed with restoration efforts. Call UI at 800.722.5584 (800.7.CALL.UI).


  • Do not use any generator that plugs into your home’s electrical system unless it was installed by a licensed electrician via a transfer switch. Improperly connected generators can back-feed electricity and pose a danger to the public and to crews working to restore service.
  • Carefully read and observe the instructions in your generator’s operating manual.
  • Properly ground all portable generators.
  • Never run a generator indoors, in an open garage, or near a window.
  • Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it’s running.

Report an Outage:

For additional storm readiness and safety information:

Additional storm relief resources can be found by calling Connecticut’s InfoLine at 2-1-1, or by visiting www.211ct.org.

Sustainable Energy Is Working In Orange

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Jun 272019

Representatives from the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board (EEB) attended a facility tour of Watson, Inc. on Wednesday, June 12.

Vice President Gavin Watson (center) presented various sustainability efforts and energy efficiency initiatives implemented at the West Haven/Orange facility, which produces ingredient systems and products for the food and supplement industries. Watson explained that they were able to save about $182,000 in annual energy costs by working with United Illuminating (UI) to make energy updates to their facilities, including upgrading compressor systems and lighting.

EEB tour participants saw the production process of many products but were able to realize firsthand how Watson, Inc. has taken sustainability beyond the scope of Connecticut’s efficiency programs. EEB is a group of advisors who use their expertise with energy issues to evaluate and advise the state’s utility companies in developing and implementing comprehensive, cost-effective energy conservation plans that help Connecticut consumers reduce energy use in their homes and businesses.

NOTE: The EEB witnessed first-hand various sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives implemented at the West Haven/Orange facilities. Watson explained that they were able to save about $182,000 in annual energy costs by working with United Illuminating (UI) to make energy upgrades in their two facilities. In addition to some of their other initiatives, the company has started a large shared garden for employees at the Orange facility and only purchase 100% of its electrical energy from wind power sources. During the tour, they also witnessed the production of Watson products, such as edible glitter and menthol sheets used in many popular toothpaste brands.

Tour attendees included representatives from United Illuminating, Optimal Energy, the CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, Eversource, Acadia Center, CT Resource Conservation and Development, Energy Futures Group and CT Green Bank.

Participants included: Gavin Watson, Vice President of Watson, Inc.; Aaron Jones, and Amy McLean Salls, Acadia Center; Amanda Fargo-Johnson, CT Resource Conservation & Development, CT EEB; Craig Diamond, CT EEB; Julia Dumaine and  Linda Foreman, CT DEEP; Adrienne Houel, Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises, Inc.;  Dan Mellinger, Energy Futures Group; Glen Reed, Energy Futures Group; Steve Bruno, Jordan Schellens, Andy Brydges, and John Kibbee, Eversource; Anthony Clark, CT Green Bank; George Lawrence, Optimal Energy; and Liz Murphy, United Illuminating, AVANGRID, Inc.

UI Offers A Few Valuable Tips for The Holiday Season

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Dec 062018

United Illuminating, a subsidiary of AVANGRID Inc. (NYSE: AGR), reminds customers to follow some simple electrical safety and efficiency tips to ensure this holiday season is filled with safety, comfort, and joy.

“The holidays are a time for celebration, and you can help keep the holidays joyful by acting now to head off preventable accidents and bill surprises,” said Joe Thomas, UI’s Vice President for Electric System Operations. “A warm, safe home is the greatest gift for our families and friends as we gather for the holidays.”

UI offers the following tips to help customers keep their homes safe, warm and energy efficient as they “deck the halls” for the holidays.


  • Dry Christmas tree limbs and hot lights can be a dangerous combination. If you have a live tree, keep it fresh. Before you put the tree in its stand, cut its base at a 45-degree angle so it can absorb more water. Water the tree liberally — the average tree can consume between a quart and a gallon of water a day. Remove the tree promptly after the holiday, or when it becomes dry.
  • Consider using LED lights, which produce less heat and use less energy than traditional decorative lights. The cooler-burning LEDs can help reduce the drying effect on the tree.
  • All lights and cords should be factory tested; check for the UL label on the packaging. Carefully inspect cords, plugs, and receptacles for worn or frayed insulation and loose connections. Throw away damaged items.
  • Keep wires away from toddlers and pets. Push wires toward the center of the tree, and clip them securely to the branches.
  • Make sure cords are tucked away safely to prevent anyone from tripping over them. However, never run cords them under rugs, since they can overheat.
  • Keep flammable decorations away from the tree’s lights. Also, make sure that electric window candles do not touch drapes or other flammable objects.
  • Never use electric lights on metallic trees. Avoid using plastic trees unless they’re flame resistant.
  • Turn holiday lights off before going to sleep and when you leave home. Consider using a programmable timer to turn lighting displays on and off automatically.
  • Avoid overloading electrical circuits or extension cords. Follow the directions on cord labels regarding connecting light strings and extension cords. If a cord feels hot to the touch, it is overloaded and can cause an electrical fire.

Around the House:

  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace batteries as necessary.
  • Plan escape routes for your family in case of a fire or other emergency.
  • In the kitchen, keep a close watch on your stovetop, grill, and oven while in use. Never use them for heating.


  • While decorating the outside of your home, look up and around the area first to identify overhead lines and other hazards.
  • Never raise ladders, poles or other extended objects into or near power lines. Check to make sure any tree limbs you may come into contact with aren’t near power lines. Remember: no power line is safe to touch, ever.
  • Use only outdoor-approved lights that can withstand cold temperatures, and inspect them for damage.

Customers can monitor their holiday energy use during the holidays or year-round with UI’sfree Energy Analyzer. For information or to sign up, visit http://www.uinet.com.

Be sure to follow @UnitedIllum on Twitter and “like” UI on Facebook.

UPDATED: Are You Powerless? Let Us Know

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Mar 022018

As of 5:15 p.m., the UI is reporting that 63 customers are without power due to 4 incidents in town.

What the company does not specify is WHERE the power is out and WHY.

If you are without power, go to our Facebook Page, report your situation, how long you’ve been powerless and include the reason, if you know. 

What areas of town have trees/tree limbs down, damaged power lines, etc.

Thanks so much, and good luck!

At 7 a.m. on Saturday, a resident reported that power was out on Prudden Lane. “We are the 4 houses that face the Merrit Parkway. Been out since around 4 pm yesterday.”
Later in the day, she reported that the Power was back on.

This was the ONLY person to report an outage.

United Illuminating Makes Progress Restoring Service after Storm

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Nov 012017

10 Outages affecting 25 Customers as of 10:42 am Nov 1.

Crews Have Restored 23,000 Outages Since Sunday Night

United Illuminating, subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a diversified U.S. energy company, has made significant progress in restoring service to customers after the wind and rain storm.

UI expected to have service restored to virtually all customers before midnight Tuesday.

“Our efforts to monitor this storm and prepare for it paid off,” said Joe Thomas, UI’s vice president for electric system operations. “This early preparation allowed us to get a head start on planning and have our crews and equipment ready to respond to the storm’s damage.”

As of Monday afternoon, UI had restored a cumulative total of more than 23,000 customer outages, and fewer than 2,000 customers remained without service after the storm, which brought heavy rains and wind gusts up to 60 mph into the region overnight Sunday. Strong winds continued throughout the day Monday, causing additional outages.

UI reminds customers to take precautions during storms. Always stay far away from downed lines. To report downed wires, call UI at 800-722-5584 or 911 with the location and any specifics.

To receive UI Outage Alerts, sign up at uinet.com, or text “REG” to 839-884 to get text alerts sent to your mobile phone. Customers can also report outages by mobile: Text “OUT” to 839-884.

Energize Connecticut Announces 12th Annual eesmarts™ Statewide Student Contest

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Jan 122016

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 2.07.42 AMEversource and The United Illuminating Company, as partners of the Energize Connecticut initiative, are now accepting entries for the 12th annual eesmarts Student Contest. The contest encourages students to demonstrate their knowledge of energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability by completing grade-specific assignments. The deadline for entries is April 1, 2016.

The eesmarts Student Contest is open to Connecticut students in Grades K-12. Additionally, new to the program this year is a college level playwright category entitled “Wright the World,” and a new separate 12th grade category. Finalists in all categories and grade levels will be honored at a special awards ceremony on April 29, 2016 at the State Capitol in Hartford.

“Over the past 11 years, we have encouraged students across the state to demonstrate their understanding of smart energy with creativity and to develop sustainable solutions that help our environment,” said Bill Dornbos, Chairperson of the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board and also with the Acadia Center. “We are excited to be able to expand the contest this year to include college students.”

The new “Wright the World” category invites college students, enrolled in a two or four year college or university in Connecticut, to write a 25-30 minute play that supports the eesmarts curriculum and mission. The play should be written for a young audience, preferably Grades K-5. It must explain how energy is made, identify energy resources, clarify what it means to be energy-efficient and sustainable, and provide examples of energy-efficient technology. The winner of this category will receive $500 and have the opportunity to cast and perform the play during the 2016-2017 academic year at schools and/or educational centers across Connecticut.

Students in Grade 12 will compete in a new category that challenges them to create a persuasive image that advocates for energy conservation, an alternate energy source, or an environmental concern, and showcases their knowledge of this subject area. Entries, which can be a short poem, cartoon or 30-second video, will be evaluated based on scientific validity, and concise and convincing imagery.

Students in Grades 9-11 compete in the community service-learning project award category, which asks students to propose a community-based project to address an energy-related issue. Students may work in groups of five members or less in this category and winners’ schools will receive eesmarts program funding of $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place to make their proposed project a reality during the next school year.

Students in grades K-8 answer grade-level specific prompts in the form of a poster (Grades K-2), narrative (Grade 3), news article (Grade 4), book review (Grade 5), essay (Grade 6), speech (Grade 7), or public service announcement (Grade 8).

For grade levels K-12, first prize winners will also receive a $200 Amazon Gift Card, second prize winners a $100 Amazon Gift Card, and third prize winners a $50 Amazon Gift Card.

For more information about the contest, visit www.eesmarts.com/contest

BREAKING: Orange Firefighters Respond To House Fire On Avon Drive Sunday Morning

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Feb 152015

avon house fireOrange Volunteer Firefighters were called to 637 Avon Drive around 5:30 a.m. for a structure fire.

When first responders arrived an elderly couple had already fled the house and was safely inside a vehicle.

Other fire apparatus and firefighters quickly arrived within 4 minutes and  set up near a fire hydrant.

The temperature was near 18-degrees f, but winds surely made it feel much colder.

Medic 33, the UI, and the Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Department RIT (Rapid Intervention Team) all were called to the scene.

(This story was developing as Orange Live was reporting it)

Turns out that it was a garage fire.

Second Fire Call On Sunday

At 11:22 a.m. the Fire Dept responded to 111 Cricket Lane for a fire inside the wall.

The residents evacuated the home before firefighters arrived.