During its April 2021 meeting, the NPU Board of Commissioners voted to authorize General Manager Chris LaRose to complete an agreement with Atlantic City Linen Services (ACLS) of Norwich to provide rate relief and a payment plan as the company prepares to re-open following its temporary shut-down in the early days of the pandemic in 2020.

“This agreement is great news for NPU and for ACLS – we are excited to support such an important local business with a bit of flexibility as they get up and running once again. ACLS is not only a source of jobs in Norwich, but they support our two casinos, which are economic engines of the region and the entire state,” said Chris LaRose, General Manager of NPU.

Under the terms of the agreement, which is expected to be finalized within the next week, ACLS

will pay a lower fixed gas rate with a higher commodity cost, as they re-open and begin to ramp up their operations; as the volume, they consume increases in the coming months, the fixed rate will increase and the volumetric rate will decrease.

The agreement also allows for ACLS to enter into a payment plan to address their past-due balance just as many residential and commercial customers have over the past 12 months through NPU’s Special Payment Arrangement (SPA) program.

“Atlantic City Linen Supply is pleased to be able to resume its laundry operations in Norwich, Connecticut. It has been a difficult year for the hospitality industry and as we work to reopen our facility, we thank the Connecticut casinos for their partnership and the City of Norwich and Norwich Public Utilities for their support. We welcome this new agreement with the NPU and as the economy improves we look forward to fully resuming a business that has been servicing local customers for over 20 years,” said Victor Nappen, Vice President of Sales for PureStar Linen Group.

Before its temporary closing, ACLS was among NPU’s largest natural gas customers and it is anticipated that this new agreement will allow them to return to their previous level of volume and revenue in the near future.

“The relationship between NPU and ACLS is significantly stronger and more collaborative than it has been in the past,” said LaRose. “It is mutually beneficial for us to work together as we both look to move on from the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic.

The ability to work quickly and directly to help an important customer during a difficult time is a great example of the benefit of a municipal utility; a smaller and more nimble organization can be more responsive and quickly find solutions that benefit their customers.