Norwich Public Utilities (NPU)

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

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DPH Consent Agreement

February 27, 2017

Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) has entered into a Consent Agreement with the State of Connecticut’s Department of Public Health (DPH), requiring that we notify customers of improvements being made to our water system to address an ongoing water quality issue.

clear-water-glassSince 2015, NPU has occasionally failed to meet the Stage 2 Disinfection Byproduct Rule at all locations throughout our water distribution system.  Disinfection byproducts develop when microscopic levels of naturally occurring organic material remain in the drinking water after the purification process and react with chlorine used for their elimination and overall system disinfection. 

From time to time, NPU has experienced exceedances of the disinfection byproducts threshold level of 80 parts per billion.  Exceedances have typically occurred at one or two locations in the system by values of 1 to 5 parts per billion (this exceedance is the equivalent of 1 to 5 cents per $1,000,000).  When these exceedances occur, NPU notifies our customers and posts information on our website.

NPU works closely with the DPH regarding all water quantity and quality issues including commissioning of any new infrastructure or treatment systems or processes. Some recent infrastructure improvements include:

·         Constructed a new 1 million gallon water storage tank

·         Relined approximately 3,700 linear feet of transmission main

·         Replaced outdated pumps, drives, piping, and chemical feed systems

·         Converted from chlorine gas to sodium hypochlorite in our treatment process

Additional projects underway include replacing the 50+ year old 5 million gallon water tank located in Mohegan Park with a smaller 2.5 million gallon tank (scheduled for spring 2017) and installation of an active mixing/aeration system in the water storage tank that serves the Taftville/Occum area (scheduled for fall 2017.)

These improvements, as well as the associated operational changes were documented in a plan that was provided to and approved by the DPH.

As part of the Consent Agreement, NPU will provide customers with quarterly updates of the progress made toward reaching consistent compliance with the Stage 2 rule as well as updates on the infrastructure improvements.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.     What is the issue with NPU’s water quality?

·         Based on ongoing testing, NPU has intermittently exceeded the established Stage 2 Disinfection Byproduct Rule as set by the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection (EPA).

·         Since 2015 there have been times when there has been an organic compound in our water at a slightly higher level than is allowed under federal regulations.

2. Is it safe to drink?

·         Yes. NPU’s water supply remains safe and the levels by which we’ve exceeded the standards do not pose a health risk to our customers.

·         NPU has achieved compliance with the standards for the past six months.

3. What caused this to happen?

·         Disinfection byproducts develop when microscopic levels of naturally occurring organics remain in the drinking water after the purification process and react with the chlorine used to eliminate them and provide system-wide disinfection.

4. What were the results of this testing?

·         Our testing reveals that NPU’s level of disinfection byproducts is occasionally slightly above the recently revised allowable amount as set by the EPA.

·         The EPA’s standard is 0.080 mg/L (milligrams per liter). NPU’s levels have, at certain times, slightly exceeded this standard.

5. What is NPU doing to resolve this issue?

·         Our plans to address this issue have been reviewed and approved by the State of Connecticut’s Department of Health.

·         We have already completed several projects that will give us better tools to address this issue, including capital projects to modernize and improve the strength of our water system.

o    Constructed a new 1 million gallon water storage tank

o    Relined approximately 3,700 linear feet of transmission main

o    Replaced outdated pumps, drives, piping, and chemical feed systems

o    Converted from chlorine gas to sodium hypochlorite in our treatment process

6. Do I need to boil my water?

·         No. This is not a bacteria-related issue so boiling water is not necessary.

7. Am I putting myself / my family in danger by drinking this water?

·         Not at all. NPU’s water supply remains safe and the levels by which we’ve occasionally exceeded the standards do not pose a health risk to our customers.

8. When will you know if the problem is fixed?

·         We will continue to monitor this situation very closely and are regularly measuring the levels of disinfection byproduct in our system.

·         Our results will be reported to the State of Connecticut’s Department of Public Health as required by state regulation.

·         Results of quarterly testing will also be posted on this webpage along with the status of our projects and efforts to consistently meet the standards.

9. Will NPU give me water to drink while this issue is being resolved?

·         No. NPU’s water remains safe for human consumption.

10. Will my home’s water filtration system help with this issue?

·         No. A standard residential filtration system will not help address this issue.

11. Is there any concern in having the water come in contact with my skin?

·         No. NPU’s water is safe for human consumption and use.

1     12: Is this water safe for my pets?

·         Yes. NPU’s water is safe for consumption and use.

 

 

Be Nosey

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Commercial Rebates in 4Q 2014

9 NPU Commercial & Industrial customers take advantage of Lighting Retrofit Programs Q4 of 2014, earning $122,629 in rebates
Nearly $368,000 in rebates awarded in 2014

February 10, 2015 - Nine Commercial and Industrial (C&I) customers of Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) have taken advantage of the Lighting Retrofit Program and received $122,629 in rebates during the fourth quarter of 2014. For all of 2014, 28 customers, completing 33 projects throughout the year, participated in the program and earned $367,387 in rebates.

NPU provides rebates to business customers for replacing traditional incandescent lighting with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and high-efficiency linear fluorescent tubes. NPU customers receive rebates of 35% for the purchase of the more efficient light bulbs.

“NPU is committed to working with our business customers to find ways to improve their bottom line,” said John Bilda, General Manager of NPU. “This is a great program that is helping dozens of our business customers every year.”

Commercial and Industrial customers of NPU awarded rebates in October, November and December of 2014 were:

  • Eblens
  • Surplus Unlimited
  • Norwichtown Veterinarian Hospital
  • Properties by P&D
  • Backus Hospital
  • Viking Fuel
  • Plas-Pak
  • Lord Properties
  • RoseGarden Ice Arena

Collectively, these customers will save more than $125,000 each year on their utility bills by converting their old lights to more energy-efficient CFLs. The average payback on the investment made by customers converting to the high tech lighting is 2.5 years.

To qualify for the program, NPU requires both a pre-inspection and energy audit of the customer’s facility. A Letter of Agreement between NPU and the customer must be signed before the project is initiated and an inspection / confirmation is conducted before any rebate is provided to the customer. While there is no minimum project cost, customers are limited to $75,000 per year in efficiency rebates.

NPU also offers zero-percent financing to qualifying C&I customers who make improvements and upgrades that increase energy efficiency and lower energy use.

Power Alert Days

What is a Power Alert?

A Power Alert is a communication from Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) to our customers requesting that they take necessary steps to decrease or reduce their electric usage during a span of time on a select day. This timeframe usually occurs during the afternoon on the hottest day(s) of the summer. Since we cannot predetermine which day will be the hottest and result in becoming the year’s “peak day,” we generally announce a Power Alert when it is thought that a particular day may become the peak day as a result of temperature and weather forecasting.

NPU will advise customers of a Power Alert Day by posting a notice on our Facebook page, Twitter feed and issuing a Alert on our website.  In addition, we will issue a public service announcement on WICH AM 1310 radio.

Why do we need our customers to lower their electric usage?

Electricity is a commodity that is bought and sold on the open market. Electricity costs are determined by the amount of electricity that is bought. When a tremendous amount of electricity is being consumed, the price increases exponentially.

iStock 000005024531SmallWhy does the price increase so much?

Every electron of electricity has to be generated in some way. The regional electric system operator, ISO-New England of which Norwich is part (or “the grid”) tries to provide just enough electricity that is needed and no more. They do this because electricity cannot be stored. When demand for electricity spikes, the system is forced to increase generation. That increased generation is called “Peak Load.”

What is the difference between “Peak Load” and “Base Load?”

Base load is what the system uses in an average day. The ISO plans for base load and provides generation capacity to meet this load every day. When electricity demand spikes, the ISO must bring additional generation on-line. Typically, these generation assets are only used to meet Peak Load demands. This electricity costs more to produce than base load. To be able to generate electricity at any given time, these generators much be in an “at ready mode” at all times. These peak generators are often inefficient to operate, adding to the higher operating costs.

Why is this important?

Part of wholesale energy costs are set by the costs associated with generating power to meet the demand of the highest peak day of the year. This is typically a hot day when many air conditioners are running. Part of the wholesale electric price is set by the cost of generating electricity at the highest peak demand day of the previous year. If we lower our electricity demand as much as possible on that particular day, it can have a profound effect on next year’s wholesale energy costs.

 How can you help reduce the Peak Demand?

Customers can reduce electric usage without affecting their quality of living by limiting the use of washing machines, dryers, stoves and by turning off unnecessary lighting during the peak period of the power alert. If you are running air conditioners, make sure your windows and doors are closed tightly. Close curtains or pull down window shades to keep the sunlight out of rooms, particularly those that get direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day.

For questions and concerns please feel free to contact Norwich Public Utilities at 860-887-2555 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Gas Expansion

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Choosing Natural Gas for your home

Whether you are thinking about having NPU bring natural gas to your home, or have already made the decision, we want to make the process easy for you.  Our goal is to have natural gas installed to your home quickly, efficiently and safely -- with minumum disruption to your home and property.

The first step is to contact us!!  Our staff will answer all your questions and provide you will all the facts you need to make this decision.  We will explain the many benefits of natural gas, inform you of the various money saving incentives, rebates and low-interest loans available to make this the most economical choice for you, and outline all the steps in the process.  But we won't stop there.  We will remain available to work directly with you through the entire process.  Our job isn't finished until gas is installed and you are fully satisfied with the work that was done.

Call us at 860-823-4514 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.  Not sure if you have gas available to you?  We can answer that for you as well.

NPU has parterned with the Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority to launch a comprehensive program that combines financial incentives, low interest loans, and competitive pricing for converting your home to Natural Gas. 

 NEW!  For a limited time, get 2.99% low interest financing from Smart E-Loans to convert from oil or propane.  There's never been a better time to switch to natural gas!  Click here to learn more.

For more information about NPU's gas expansion program, click on the brochure below. 

Gas Book Image  Why use natural gas? 

For step-by-step details about the installation procedure, click here.

 When installing a natural gas service, there are specific guidelines to follow to determine where the gas meter should be located. To help homeowners and contractors understand where, or more importantly where not, a gas meter will be located please read the appropriate guidelines:

Natural Gas Incentive and Rebate Forms (contact NPU for more information):

 

Share An Event

One Calendar. One Community. One more way for us to further Connected.

Do you have an event, exhibition, performance or fundraiser in the near future? In a tradition established with our “Community Matters” newsletter, Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) is developing one united calendar to serve the businesses and residents of Norwich.

To have your event posted to this calendar, please complete the form shown below. Please allow a minimum of 2 business days for your event to be processed and be aware that NPU reserves the right to omit events that are not reflective of our mission or inappropriate for a community-based calendar.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you.

Customer Service Model

At Norwich Public Utilities, we pride ourselves on providing quality customer service and 'one-stop shopping' for all your utility needs.  Whether you prefer the quick and easy convenience of online support or face-to-face interaction with a live person, we offer a choice of customer service techniques to ensure your needs are met!

 

The NPU Customer Service Center is located at 173 North Main Street in Norwich, Connecticut. You can visit us Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. or call at (860) 887-2555.  You can also reach us by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Visit or call Customer Service for the following services:

  • Setting up new accounts
  • Transferring an account to a new location
  • Terminating an account or service
  • Paying a bill
  • Setting up a budget plan
  • General assistance with your utility account

 

Activating an account

We require the following information when activating an account

  • Name
  • Employer
  • Name and address of your bank
  • Social Security Number
  • Driver's License Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Telephone number

We may require a security deposit to activate an account.

If you are renting, we will ask you if there are any additional names on your renter's lease.

We required a minimum of 2 business days for any new account activation or termination to take effect.

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Auto Pay

  Download AutoPay Authorization Form

AutoPay is an easy way to pay your Norwich Public Utilities bill.  With your written authorization, NPU will automatically deduct your monthly utility payment directly from the checking, savings, Visa or MasterCard account that you choose.  The amount charged will be your account balance, unless you are already a budget customer (you will be charged your budget amount.)

Signing up for AutoPay is easy.  If your account is in good standing and you have a bank or credit card account, just print and complete the AutoPay Authorization Form. You can also call us at 860-887-2555 and we will send you a form.  After you fill out the form in its entirety and sign it, send it to:

Attention: AutoPay
Norwich Public Utilities
173 North Main Street
Norwich CT 06360

Do not include the AutoPay form in your utility payment envelope.

Please include a daytime phone number and email address. This will ensure that we can reach you with any questions or issues about setting up or maintaining AutoPay.

AutoPay will be set up as soon as NPU receives your written authorization. You will know that AutoPay is in effect by looking at the shaded summary box and the remit stub on your statement. Normally, you will see the AutoPay notice on your next statement; however if we receive your authorization form very close to your billing date, AutoPay will begin the following month.

PLEASE NOTE: Until you see the AutoPay notice on your billing statement, you should continue to pay your bill as usual to prevent late charges.

The AutoPay date will be about 20 - 25 days after your billing date. The exact date that the transaction applies to your bank or credit card account depends on the bank; however, you will not be charged before the AutoPay date.

If we are unable to process your AutoPay transaction we will make every effort to contact you.

It is very important that you contact us immediately if anything changes that would affect your automatic payment, such as a new credit card expiration date, new bank account number, etc. If the problem is due to insufficient funds, you will be charged $20.

If you would like to set up budget payments with AutoPay, please contact our Customer Service Center at 860-887-2555 during normal business hours.

Outages/Emergencies

Electric, Sewer, Water: 860-887-2555
Natural Gas: 860-887-7207
Report Utility Issue

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