Waltham, Mass. – March 12, 2012 -- National Grid will once again follow the recommendation of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and extend the period during which “protected” customers will have a little longer to pay their utility bills without interruption in service. State regulations prohibit electric and natural gas companies from suspending service for non-payment from November 15 through March 15, but with the extension now in place through April 16, customers will have an extra month of relief.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities defines protected customers as households with a financial hardship where someone has a serious illness; households with a financial hardship and a child under one year of age; any household with a financial hardship that would be without heat if utility service was shut off; households with a financial hardship in which all adults are 65 years of age or older and a minor child lives in the home; tenants whose landlord is responsible for utilities but does not pay the bills; and households in which everyone is age 65 or older, whether there is a financial hardship or not.
“We recognize the various challenges that our customers face as a result of economic hardships and we want them to know that we understand and will make every effort to help,” said Marcy Reed, president, National Grid Massachusetts. “National Grid has supported the extension of the winter moratorium for protected customers in the past and we will continue to do so because it’s the right thing to do for our customers.”
Customers who need assistance paying their bills should call 1-888-211-1313 to speak with a National Grid representative about available payment plans. Customers can also enroll in National Grid’s “Balanced Billing” plan which spreads their total annual utility costs into 12 monthly payments, making it easier on monthly household budgets. To enroll, visit www.nationagridus.com and click on the “My Account” link.
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.
In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.
National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. It manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation, providing power to over one million LIPA customers. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
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