Norwich Public Utilities (NPU)

A municipally owned utility serving Norwich, CT with
natural gas, electricity, water and sewer services.

NPU Newsroom

 

Latest investment brings NPU’s total affordable housing support with ECHO

to more than $4.5 million since 2004

NORWICH – On Tuesday, Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) announced an investment of $500,000 through a Connecticut Housing Finance Authority’s tax credit program to rehabilitate 32 affordable family rental units in Norwich that are owned and operated by Eastern Connecticut Housing Opportunities (ECHO).

“Today, more than ever, NPU is committed to making Norwich a better place to live, work and do business. And today’s investment of $500,000 to improve the quality of 32 units of affordable family housing in our city is the latest example of that commitment,” said John Bilda, General Manager of NPU.

The funding from NPU was made available through the State of Connecticut’s Housing Tax Credit Contribution Program, which allows organizations to make contributions to eligible non-profit agencies in lieu of paying a portion of their Gross Revenue Tax bill. NPU’s Gross Revenue Tax liability, which is applied to the purchase of natural gas and electricity, was approximately $2.3 million in FY 2017.

NPU’s investment will support critical repairs and renovations at two affordable family housing developments:

·        17 units located at 91 South Second Avenue in Taftville

·        15 units within the Mechanic Street Apartments, consisting of 9 buildings at 23-79 Mechanic Street and 104 Mt. Pleasant Street

“NPU has been a steadfast partner of ECHO since 2004, contributing more than $4.5 million to improve 199 units of affordable family housing in Norwich,” said Peter Battles, Executive Director of ECHO. “Because of the generosity and commitment of NPU, hundreds of low-income families are living in cleaner, nicer homes in Norwich.”

ECHO has owned and operated both developments benefitting from today’s announcement for a number of years. But despite ongoing maintenance efforts, both developments now require additional rehabilitation due to the age of the buildings.

The rehabilitation work includes the full renovation of 15 unit interiors divided between the two developments and consisting of new kitchen cabinets, countertops, sinks and faucets; new bath vanities and toilets; replacement of flooring and extensive painting; new kitchen appliances; and new exhaust fans and smoke / CO detectors.

In addition, the Mechanic Street Apartments will undergo major exterior repairs, including the replacement of deteriorated aluminum siding with vinyl, replacement of porch decking / entry stair railings, and replacement of selected doors.

Both properties are occupied and will remain so during the rehabilitation, which is already underway and should be completed by the end of the year. Renovation of unit interiors will take place in vacant units as tenant turnover takes occurs, avoiding any temporary relocations.

According to ECHO, there is a critical need in Norwich and the region for quality rental accommodations for low-income families.

About ECHO

Eastern Connecticut Housing Opportunities (ECHO) was established in 1989 with the mission of providing affordable housing for families in Eastern Connecticut whose income is too low to support the purchase or rental of a home at market rates in the communities in which they work and wish to live.

ECHO believes that decent, safe and sanitary housing at affordable cost is a basic human need to which all Americans are entitled; affordable housing for all is necessary to the long-term economic viability of the region; and development of ownership housing in urban settings contributes to the revitalization of distressed neighborhoods.

 

Thursday, 01 February 2018 11:37

NPU customers now have Text-to-Pay option

 

Customers signing up for this new service will have a chance to win an iPad

 

NORWICH – Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) customers now have the option of paying their bills via text message, the latest effort to increase the efficiency and convenience in the utility’s payment process.

“Our new text-to-pay option provides our customers with the ability to pay their NPU bill from anywhere and at any time,” said Jeff Brining, Division Manager for Customer Service. “The text-to-pay option will save time and money for our customers and for NPU.”

The process for signing up for text-to-pay is very simple and should take just a few minutes.

·        On the NPU website, customers simply update their account information, including a credit card if they have not registered one with NPU.

·        Select the text and email option in the dropdown menu for receiving invoices

·        Enter mobile phone number and email address for the appropriate account(s).

Once registered, NPU will send a confirmation email and text to the customer; once ‘OK’ is responded, the customer is now ready to pay their NPU bill via text message.

NPU customers can text “Stop” to unsubscribe to any invoice notification or “Resume” to restart the text-to-pay option at any time.

As part of this new offering, NPU will enter all text-to-pay customers registered before February 28, 2018 into a drawing for a chance to win one of two Apple iPads. The winner will be selected randomly and the customer will be notified via text message in early March, 2018. NPU employees and their families are not eligible to win an iPad.

NPU’s enhanced online bill pay and billing service, which was launched in June, is off to a very strong start, with the number of electronic payments to NPU increasing by more than 15%.  This enhancement results in fewer phone calls and paper transactions being processed by NPU each month, increasing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of our Customer Service Center.

 

 

Norwich – Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) and the Norwich Arts Center (NAC) partnered on a significant heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) upgrade at the organization’s building at 60-64 Broadway in Downtown Norwich. The project, which was completed earlier this month, earned the nonprofit a rebate of $9,250 through NPU’s Cool Choice program.

 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018 15:47

NPU helping Puerto Rico in power restoration

 

Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) is dispatching the first of what will be a rotation of two-man line crews to Puerto Rico as part of an industry-wide effort to assist with power restoration for an island that was devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria over a two-week period last September.


NPU is participating as a member of the American Public Power Association, which is supporting the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) in the restoration effort along with other mainland utilities and the federal government.

“Whenever NPU has the capacity and the ability to provide mutual aid to another utility and to help thousands of people in need, we will,” said John Bilda, General Manager of NPU. “We are proud to provide support to the residents of Puerto Rico during this unprecedented time.”

The NPU crews will be working in Carolina - on the northeast coast of Puerto Rico - under one of seven Incident Management Teams set up by the electric industry. Carolina has a population of approximately 113,000.

At this time, it is estimated that 62 percent of customers in Puerto Rico have electricity. NPU crews will be working to repair and reinstall utility poles and wires for the distribution system that was heavily damaged in the fall.

Approximately 1,500 utility workers from the mainland United States - including lineworkers and others from public power utilities and investor-owned utilities - are deploying to Puerto Rico this month alone to help PREPA restore electric service.

Lineworkers Will Maxeiner and Tom Holmes will arrive in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, January 24 and work for two weeks; on or about February 7, they will be replaced by two other NPU lineworkers.

Earlier this month, NPU delivered a bucket truck to Norfolk, Virginia which was later placed on a barge for transport to Puerto Rico, which is scheduled to arrive on Saturday, January 27.

NPU provided extensive mutual aid to the US Virgin Islands in the fall, with numerous linemen spending time in St. Thomas, restoring power to thousands of residents that were also impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017 11:10

NPU launches annual Matching Payment Program

Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) has enrolled 191 customers in it Matching Payment Program (MPP), a partnership with TVCCA which helps customers with past-due balances get caught up on their natural gas and electric bills.

As part of its annual natural gas inspection and safety program, Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) is offering more than 4,500 customers in the East Side, Greeneville, Laurel Hill and Taftville sections of Norwich and approximately 60 customers in Preston a chance to win one of five $500 credits that will be applied to their account for the next year.

Federal safety regulations require NPU and all natural gas providers inspect their meters once every three years in residential areas and every year in commercial areas. With more than 50% of NPU’s natural meters inside the homes of its customers, achieving the required 100% has proven to be a challenge.

And while more than 95% of the surveys are complete, approximately 200 meters remain to be inspected. For NPU to be in full compliance with the federal safety regulation, these remaining customers must allow NPU to inspect their natural gas meter – a process that typically takes less than 10 minutes. In return, they’ll be entered into the Let Us In – You Might Win drawing.

Five employees of Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) have immediate family members in Puerto Rico whose lives have been turned upside down since Hurricane Maria hit the island on September 20, 2017.

As of 2:00 pm on Tuesday, NPU crews have restored electricity to all but 160 of our customers, down from a peak of 3,400 on Monday.  We expect the number of impacted customers will continue to decrease through the afternoon and into this evening.

NPU has brought in three mutual aid crews to assist with restoration, two from Freeport, NY and another from West Boylston, MA. We continue to have two private electrical contractors assisting us with individual service installations

It is important to understand that the remaining outages (about 50) are impacting a small number of customers – and in some cases, even a single customer. Some of these repairs can take several hours.

The most challenging work that remains for NPU and the mutual aid crews is on Asylum Street, where three poles have been repaired, several cross-arms have been or need to be re-installed and approximately 1,0000 feet of overhead wire must be installed. We anticipate this work to be completed before 10:00 tonight.

Customers are reminded to assume any downed wired is energized and potentially very dangerous. We also insist that any electric generator in use be installed by a licensed electrician.

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