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Pelham - Windham News

8 Home Improvement - April 23, 2010

National Grid Offers Assistance to NH Customers

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submitted by National Grid

During these challenging economic times, National Grid reminds its New Hampshire customers about the range of payment programs and financial assistance available. At the first sign of difficulty, electric customers who believe they may be unable to make their bill payments should contact National Grid at 1-888-211- 1313, and gas customers should call 1-800-262-4111. National Grid Customer Service Representatives are available to assist low-income and special- needs customers who may be facing financial hardship. National Grid offers and supports a variety of helpful programs and payment options, including: • Budget Plan – National Grid’s budget billing program helps to spread payments out more evenly across the year. This is particularly helpful to those

on fixed incomes. Customer sign-up is free of charge, and participants may choose to cancel at any time.

• Deferred Payment Agreement

– National Grid offers payment arrangements to residential customers with past due bal- ances. A representative will work with you to establish a plan to address the overdue balance on your account.

• Fuel Assistance – Federally

funded Fuel Assistance, also known as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Pro- gram (LIHEAP), assists income- eligible families in paying their energy bills. Households receiving public assistance, Supplemental Security Income, or food stamps are most likely eligible. If you do not receive public assistance, you may still be eligible if your monthly income is at or below income guidelines for your household size. Your local Community

Action Program agency deter- mines eligibility.

• Neighbor Helping Neighbor

– Neighbor Helping Neighbor is a private charitable fund that provides assistance to those customers whose income is above the Fuel Assistance guidelines. To apply, contact your local Community Action Program agency. For more information on avail- able programs and payment op- tions, visit www.nationalgridus. com. For money-saving tips and energy efficiency information, visit www.powerofaction.com. In addition, National Grid recently challenged to its customers to pledge to reduce their energy consumption by three percent every year for the next 10 years. Customers can sign a pledge, participate in a free energy evalu- ation, and learn more about the company’s energy efficiency programs at www.powerofaction. com.

Call 811 before digging to keep the utilities working this spring

It’s that time of year again

when, in many parts of the country, you can finally put away the snow shovel and bring out the one designed for digging. Before you begin digging, or allow the professionals to break ground in your yard, remember to call 811 to ensure digging doesn’t disrupt underground utility lines, says the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the association dedicated to protecting underground utilities and the people who dig near them. Utility services that your family depends on, such as cable TV, high-speed Internet, landline telephone, electric, gas, water and sewer, are buried underground in many communities. Unintentionally striking one of these lines can result in inconvenient outages for entire neighborhoods, harm to yourself or someone else, and repair costs. When you dial 811 several

days before you plan to start your digging project, a local one call center representative will collect your information and notify local utility companies of your intent

to dig. A professional locator will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of all underground utility lines with spray paint or flags. Once your site has been marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas. CGA member 3M and

NASCAR driver Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M car, have teamed up with CGA to promote 811 by placing the safety message on Biffle’s car during the April 25 race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., during National Safe Digging Month. “As a do-it-yourselfer, and someone who is known for being hands-on when it comes to my activities off the track, I strongly encourage everyone to call 811 before breaking ground to have all underground utility lines marked,” said Biffle. “This simple call will help you avoid cutting a cable or electric line, or any other utility for that matter, keeping you and your neighbors safe and connected, and ensuring you don’t miss a minute of action on race day or any other day.”

No matter the type of project – putting in a mailbox, installing a fence, planting trees or shrubbery, building a patio or deck, or excavating a new garden area – make sure to call 811 several days prior to digging to have your site properly marked. Visit Call811. com for more safe digging tips and state-specific information.

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