Quantcast

 UI Expands Restoration Effort, Updates Estimates

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Today's Events  Comments Off on  UI Expands Restoration Effort, Updates Estimates
Aug 072020
 

With 80K customers restored, National Guard, Central Maine Power, and out-of-state contractors boost field presence to 800+ personnel

 United Illuminating announced Thursday that it has restored a total of 80,000 customers as it continued to expand its restoration effort with the arrival of additional crews and contractors, as well as National Guard assistance. Meanwhile, the company said it has updated its online Outage Map and Outage Alert system with restoration estimates for individual customers.

The restoration estimates reflect the company’s informed assessment of when each customer’s service will be restored, based on the information available, and is subject to change. Customers can find the general location of outages affecting their area by visiting the Outage Map at uinet.com and can find the restoration estimate by clicking on an outage location. For information about specific addresses, they can sign up for Outage Alerts, or download the company’s mobile app from the Apple Store or Google Play.

“We understand customers’ frustration and we thank them for their continued patience as our crews work to safely recover from the destruction caused by this storm,” said UI President and CEO Tony Marone. “Today, we were able to ramp up significantly with the arrival of contractor crews from as far away as Wisconsin and Tennessee, joined by crews from UI’s sister company, Central Maine Power. This expands our ground presence from approximately 600 to 800 field personnel. We are also grateful to Governor Lamont for making National Guard personnel and equipment available to assist us. Together, we will continue to aggressively work our restoration plan until every customer has power.”

The 24 members of the Army and Air Force National Guard arrived Thursday with three heavy trucks to help clear roads of debris so UI crews can access and repair damaged power equipment.

UI reported significant progress in getting customers’ power back on. As of 4 p.m. Thursday, three days after the region’s biggest storm since Hurricane Sandy, the company had restored approximately 80,000 customers. With approximately 43,000 customers remaining without service, the company is on track to meet its stated goal of restoring service by the end of Saturday to a majority of those customers who were without service as of Wednesday morning.

The company, however, said some customers will remain without service, and restoration efforts will continue until the end of Monday as the company addresses smaller and more complex outage events.

The company reminded customers to stay far away from downed wires, which can be live and dangerous even if they show no signs of being energized. Customers are advised to keep kids and pets inside, and never drive over a downed wire. Always report any downed wires to UI at 800-722-5584 (800.CALLUI).

Report an Outage:

To report an outage, visit uinet.com or call 800.722.5584 (800.7.CALL.UI). Customers can also report outages using the company’s new mobile app, available from the Apple Store and Google Play. Or, they can report outages via UI’s mobile alert system: text “OUT” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI). Registration is required.

Outage Alerts:

Sign up for free Outage Alerts at uinet.com to be notified by text, e-mail, or phone when you lose service and for restoration updates. Or, sign up for free text alerts by texting “REG” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI).

Additional Information:

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

UI Urges Customers To Stay Away From Downed Wires

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Today's Events  Comments Off on UI Urges Customers To Stay Away From Downed Wires
Aug 042020
 

Downed wires can be live and dangerous even if there’s no sign they’re energized

United Illuminating, subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., today urgently reminded customers to stay far away from downed wires and other hazards caused by Tropical Storm Isaias.

The storm is projected to bring powerful gusts capable of toppling trees and limbs and causing damage to utility poles and wires. UI officials urged customers to remain safely indoors if possible and to stay far away from downed wires and anything that might be in contact with them.

Downed wires and damaged electrical equipment can be dangerous even at a distance, and they can be live even if they don’t appear to be energized. Stay at least 35 feet away and never drive over a downed wire. Report downed wires and other dangerous conditions to UI by calling 800-722-5584.

UI’s immediate concern in the aftermath of a storm is public safety. UI and contractor crews work with first-responders to address downed wires and make sure streets are safe and clear so that emergency vehicles can get through. Crews also work to restore service to critical facilities such as hospitals and evacuation centers that have been previously prioritized by local officials.

Next, UI focuses on assessing damage and restoring the backbone of its electrical system, including transmission lines, substations, circuits, and primary lines. Crews focus on locations where they can restore large numbers of customers at once.

Then, crews restore equipment and lines serving smaller groups of customers.

Finally, crews focus on restoring remaining service lines to individual homes and businesses. This phase may begin while higher-priority work is underway.

Report an Outage:

To report an outage, visit uinet.com or call 800-722-5584 (800.7.CALL.UI). Customers may also report outages using the company’s new mobile app, available from the Apple Store and Google Play. Or, they can report outages via UI’s mobile alert system: text “OUT” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI). Registration is required.

Outage Alerts:

Sign up for free Outage Alerts at uinet.com to be notified by text, e-mail or phone when you lose service and for restoration updates. Or, sign up for free text alerts by texting “REG” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI).

Additional Information:

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

• As of 2:52 p.m. 2,138 Orange UI customers were without power.

• Three minutes later that number jumped up to 3,833 as the winds grew stronger.

• At 3:58 p.m. 4,915 were powerless in Orange.

• By 4:20 p.m. 5,849 customers were in the dark.

AVANGRID Launches Program To Help Residents Lower Utility Bills

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Today's Events  Comments Off on AVANGRID Launches Program To Help Residents Lower Utility Bills
Jun 102020
 

UI, SCG and CNG Launch No-Cost Virtual Pre-Assessments to Help Residents Reduce Energy Use and Lower Utility Bills

Customers receive recommendations and an energy-saving bundle of energy-efficient lighting, power strips, and more

With many Connecticut residents working and spending more time at home, personal energy usage is likely to be higher than normal. To help residents reduce energy use and lower their utility bills, Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG), Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG) and United Illuminating (UI), subsidiaries of AVANGRID, Inc., have launched a new and no-cost virtual pre-assessment that allows their Home Energy SolutionsSM program to continue without an on-premise technician.

“Many families are spending more time at home, which means their energy use is likely to go up,” said Larry Rush, Home Energy Solutions program manager, United Illuminating. “From more home-cooked meals and time watching television to working from home and running appliances, such as an increase in handwashing and water heating, our changing habits are affecting our energy use. Energy efficiency is the best way to control and reduce the costs of home energy usage.”

Once a customer is signed up for Home Energy Solutions SM, an energy expert conducts a virtual walk-through inspection of the home through a secure video-conferencing application. During the virtual pre-assessment, the customer is engaged to review identified areas such as heating and cooling equipment, water heater, appliances, lighting, windows, insulation, water use, and electronics.

Additionally, the energy expert will review the home’s fuel type, size, number of persons living in the home, and overall energy use. The energy expert will then provide a complete review including a list of recommendations and expectations for the customer’s in-home energy assessment that will be scheduled.

“The virtual pre-assessment allows us to practice safe social distancing and help customers identify areas where they can see immediate savings,” added Rush. “Customers will receive a pre-assessment bundle that may include energy-efficient LED lightbulbs and advanced power strips. A full home visit will occur at a later date to provide air sealing and other home energy-saving measures.”

In addition to the virtual home energy pre-assessment, UI offers resources and information to help customers better understand their energy usage and an online Energy Analyzer that offers targeted energy efficiency information, advice, and support to help customers achieve savings.

Home Energy Solutions offers $1,000 worth of on-the-spot weatherization and energy efficiency services to homeowners, renters, and property managers, as well as incentives and additional resources to further reduce energy use. The program has helped save customers an average of $200 annually on their energy bills.

The benefits of having an energy-efficient home.

  • Save money. Efficiency measures can lower your monthly energy bill.
  • Comfort. Imagine a comfortable home without hot and cold spots throughout the seasons.
  • Value. Having an energy-efficient house is a great selling point and adds value to your home.

    CNG, SCG, and UI customers also can take a free home energy efficiency quiz at GetEnergySmart.com to help determine how energy efficient their homes are before signing up. By answering a few simple questions, residents can easily learn to identify areas of concern, discover opportunities to lower energy bills, and begin making their homes more energy-efficient and comfortable.

    To sign up for the virtual home energy assessment, please call 1-877-WISE-USE.

UI Preparing for Wind and Rain Storm; Warns of Possible Power Outages

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Today's Events  Comments Off on UI Preparing for Wind and Rain Storm; Warns of Possible Power Outages
Apr 132020
 

Customers reminded to monitor forecasts and avoid downed wires

United Illuminating, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., is preparing for a wind and rain storm forecast for Monday that could bring damaging winds capable of causing service interruptions.

Current forecasts call for rain and thunderstorms starting Monday morning, with gusty winds picking up during the day that could reach 65 mph or higher — strong enough to bring trees and limbs down on power lines. UI reminds customers to avoid downed lines and to prepare for the possibility of service interruptions, potentially lasting a day or more.

UI prepares for storms on an ongoing basis and is continuing its essential work to maintain safe and reliable service during the coronavirus pandemic. UI line workers, contractors, and other essential personnel are working under special protocols designed to separate and protect them. Customers are asked not to approach them when they are working, and to always maintain a safe social distance.

Due to the pandemic, UI has stepped up inspections and maintenance of electrical circuits that serve hospitals and other critical facilities in its territory.

The company offers the following tips to help customers prepare and stay safe.

Before a Storm:

  • Sign up for Outage Alerts. Text “REG” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI) 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 and fill fuel tanks for generators.

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 the company is aware of their needs. Call UI at 800.722.5584 (800.7.CALL.UI).

Generators:

  • Do not use a 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 into the outside grid 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:

  • To report an outage, visit uinet.com or call 800.722.5584 (800.7.CALL.UI). Customers may also report outages using UI’s new mobile app, available on the Apple Store and Google Play. Or, they can report outages via UI’s mobile alert system: text “OUT” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI). Registration is required.

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.

UI Customers Invited To Learn About Assistance Programs

 Around Town, Home, Latest News  Comments Off on UI Customers Invited To Learn About Assistance Programs
Feb 192020
 

United Illuminating, (headquartered in Orange)in partnership with local Community Action Agencies and Operation Fuel, will host a series of outreach events to increase public awareness about energy assistance, winter service protection and other programs that can help customers pay their bills and maintain service all year long.

Customers are invited to attend the sessions to learn about payment arrangements, financial and medical hardships, matching payment programs, energy efficiency programs, winter service protection and more. UI, Operation Fuel, and Community Action Agency staff will be on hand to answer customers’ questions during the two-hour sessions. Spanish-speaking personnel also will be available to assist.

The schedule is as follows:

For more information, visit uinet.com or call 800-722-5584. You can also learn more about energy assistance programs at operationfuel.org/get-help/residents.

AVANGRID Offers Cold Weather Tips

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Today's Events  Comments Off on AVANGRID Offers Cold Weather Tips
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 https://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm/preventing-thawing-frozen-pipes.

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

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Today's Events  Comments Off on UI — Wet, Windy Nor’easter: Sign Up For Outage Alerts
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).

Generators:

  • 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

 Around Town, Home, Latest News  Comments Off on Sustainable Energy Is Working In Orange
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

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Today's Events  Comments Off on UI Offers A Few Valuable Tips for The Holiday Season
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.

Decorations

  • 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.

Outdoors:

  • 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 https://www.uinet.com.

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

UPDATED: Are You Powerless? Let Us Know

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Today's Events  Comments Off on UPDATED: Are You Powerless? Let Us Know
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.