Unitil, (www.unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England will resume construction work in downtown Portland on April 1 to upgrade the neighborhood’s energy infrastructure. This initiative is part of Unitil’s 14-year System Upgrade for Reliable Energy (SURE) Project, now in year three, which will modernize the region’s natural gas pipeline and support economic development.
The SURE project involves replacing cast iron pipes in downtown Portland – some more than 100 years old – with state-of-the-art plastic pipe. By replacing older cast iron pipes with plastic, Unitil will assure that the Portland-Westbrook area will have a natural gas infrastructure equipped to meet the growing gas needs of the local economy. New England Utility Constructors (NEUCO), one of the region's most respected construction companies, is the contractor for the project.
“Unitil worked closely with the City of Portland to develop a construction plan that will minimize disruption to downtown businesses and residents as crews excavate and install new gas lines in downtown Portland this spring,” said Alec O’Meara. “Public safety is our top priority, and our crews will work to safely complete the project as quickly as possible.”
Because gas pipelines are buried, the project will involve significant excavation and construction in downtown Portland through late-May. SURE project construction in the Westbrook and Stevens Avenue areas will take place this summer. For the latest information about the SURE project and construction schedules, please visit www.ngupgrade.com or call Unitil’s toll-free hotline 1-866-821-4386.
“Converting from oil heat to natural gas can cut your annual fuel cost in half,” said Alec O’Meara. “If our crews are going to be working in your neighborhood, this may, in fact, be a great time to convert to natural gas”
Unitil’s service territory in Maine includes portions of York County and Cumberland County, and the Lewiston/Auburn area. Customers and businesses interested in switching to natural gas should visit www.unitil.com/switch and use the "Gas Availability Tool" to learn if you might be eligible.