National Grid Seeking Billions in Future Natural Gas Rate Adjustments in Massachusetts

National Grid in Massachusetts, filed for new rates from its Massachusetts natural gas customers. The rate filing dated April 16, 2010, proposes billions of dollars in infrastructure replacement programs with an estimated completion timeframe of over 20 years.

The rate increase National Grid is seeking is actually three years prior to the deadline of the current 10 year rate case approved by Massachusetts state utility regulatory agency the Department of Public Utilities, or the “DPU” in 2003 under DPU docket 03-40.

The New England Gas Workers Association (NEGWA) opposes the rate proposal as planned, stating the rate plan as filed is certainly not in the best interest of ratepayers and their families, as well as their members who most are ratepayers as well.

NEGWA’s president, Mark McDonald, had this to say regarding NEGWA’s opposition to the company’s plans;

The infrastructure replacement program, the key component in this rate plan in our opinion, is not good for anyone other than their shareholders.

“The companies plan is to have Massachusetts ratepayers build National Grid a “new” gas company and reduce staffing and services for its customers, while generating valuable gains for National Grid in terms of increased throughput designed to allow the ability to add thousands of ratepayers, as well as relieving the burden of gaming access to hundreds of thousands of homes to perform regular mandated maintenance, by moving gas meters outside the home at their current customers expense.”

McDonald is clear in adding, NEGWA is not supporting leaving leak ridden, hazardous piping in the ground”. “What we would like to see is a fiscal approach to updating, and maintaining our infrastructure”.

This could easily be established with necessary replacement plans, as well as a maintain plan, designed to control aging leaks with repair and increased efforts in monitoring gas leaks that are not repaired immediately.

McDonald also points to pending legislation sponsored by State Representative Lori Ehrlich (Dem) from Marblehead, designed to require gas companies in the state, perform efficient and safe leak repairs within 36 months from detection. There are also several triggers designed to protect trees and vegetation from damage due to oxygen displacement caused by gas leaks. “If this legislation reaches the approval of Beacon Hill, it would mandate all gas company’s in the state, including National Grid take aggressive steps in maintaining OUR gas distribution system and negate the debate over questionable infrastructure replacement programs costing billions of dollars more out of our pockets each winter!”

To add insult to injury NEGWA notes, the company is planning on bringing out of state workers in excess of 400 into Massachusetts (National Grid has even held discussions with their United Kingdom sub-contractors on this subject), to perform this questionable work, and then take the money from Massachusetts ratepayers and return home to boost their state or countries economy!

McDonald mentions in closing, “we would like to see National Grid do the right thing here in Massachusetts, and agree to a reasonable approach to infrastructure replacement and leak management, as well as promoting the future of its employees and their families, which in turn will help support the Massachusetts economy instead of sending large sums of money back to England”.

Does this sound familiar to Massachusetts residents??

Via EPR Network
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npower Hometeam Hunts For Britains Oldest Boiler

npower hometeam has overseen the removal of hundreds of ancient boilers across the length and breadth of the country since the Government’s boiler scrappage scheme launched in January. Now npower hometeam is on a nationwide hunt to find Britain’s Oldest Boiler.

With record numbers of Brits taking advantage of the boiler scrappage scheme, which offers consumers £400 off a new, energy efficient boiler when replacing one which is G-Rated, hometeam engineers have uncovered several antique systems.

Inspired by these discoveries, npower hometeam is launching a nationwide hunt to find Britain’s Oldest Boiler.

Richard Cotton, head of sales for npower hometeam, commented: “If your boiler is particularly old – perhaps the same age as your grown-up children, or has been in the house longer than you have been married – you could be the owner of Britain’s Oldest Boiler.”

The owner of the oldest system uncovered will win £3,000 towards a brand new A-rated energy efficient boiler, and installation.

npower was the first energy supplier to pledge to continue its boiler scrappage scheme once the Government scheme closed, meaning consumers could still be eligible to receive as much as £400 towards the cost of a new boiler; almost a third off the cost of a typical installation.

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Opus Energy Exceeds £10k Charity Target For The Friends Of Cynthia Spencer Hospice

After 12 months of fundraising, Opus Energy employees have exceeded their original £10,000 target in aid of the Friends of Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

Opus Energy Exceeds £10k Charity Target For The Friends Of Cynthia Spencer Hospice

The business energy supplier, based in Northampton, took part in a variety of fundraising activities such as the New York Marathon, It’s a knock-out and charity fun days to reach their goal.

Andy Nash, Operations Director at Opus Energy, commented:
“Opus Energy is thrilled to present this donation to the Cynthia Spencer Hospice. It’s an organisation that provides people across Northamptonshire an exceptional level of bereavement and spiritual care at the end of life. They provide a comprehensive service for mainly cancer patients, and their families, for whom a cure may no longer be possible.

“We hope that our contribution to this worthy cause will go a long way to help support the hospice and care for those affected.”

The hospice relies heavily on the generosity of donations to help maintain an exceptional quality of care. Although primarily funded by the NHS, they have to raise a further £650,000 each year through charitable donations and fundraising activities, to continue the services they offer at a time when people need it most.

Sue Bownass, Community Fundraiser, added:
The Friends of Cynthia Spencer Hospice were absolutely delighted that Opus Energy chose us as their charity of the year and have very much enjoyed working alongside them on some of their fundraising events.

“The money has helped the hospice to continue employing staff for the benefits of patients; making sure their stay is as comfortable as possible.

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npower Kicks Off A Football-Filled Summer With The Hairy Bikers

npower is kicking off its ‘Big Cook Off’ with the Hairy Bikers in an effort to introduce Britain to Smart Cooking, great football and great food. As the nation gets ready for football fever this summer, npower has teamed up with the Hairy Bikers to prepare a football-themed cookbook.

npower Kicks Off A Football-Filled Summer With The Hairy Bikers

The 32 energy-rated dishes are all inspired by the nations taking part in the big tournament. The recipes, cooked by energetic chefs and football fans the Hairy Bikers, have all been given star ratings to indicate how energy efficient they are to prepare.

The Hairy Bikers have filmed their own energy saving tips, together with simple demonstrations of how to prepare a selection of the dishes, to help budding cooks save both power and money. The cookbook contains a delicious array of options, f r o m England’s Steak and Ale pie to host nation South Africa’s Pumpkin Fritters.

npower is an Official Supporter of the campaign to bring the FIFA World Cup(TM) to England in 2018 and is encouraging the public to do their bit to Back the Bid this summer by visiting the npower website to download smart cooking recipes and register their support for the Bid campaign.

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npower Receives A Tail Wagging Hello From Guide Dogs

npower has been receiving visits from the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association at sites across the north east of England to raise awareness of its services for blind and partially-sighted people.

npower Receives A Tail Wagging Hello From Guide Dogs

Over the past two months staff f r o m npower have been meeting guide dog owners and their respective guide dogs during selected lunchtime visits to its offices across the north east. Guide Dogs had previously been invited to the npower site in Worcester and was selected by npower to receive a £20,000 donation, which was used to sponsor four guide dog puppies through their training.

At these visits npower employees have been encouraged to sponsor a puppy, recycle for the charity and get involved in volunteering and payroll giving.

Nicola Wilson, Guide Dogs’ Development Fundraiser for the North said: “We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to visit the north east sites of npower. We’ve had an incredibly warm welcome so far and thanks to everyone’s support Guide Dogs will receive an extra £792 annually and we still have three more site visits to attend. npower and their staff have been extremely supportive of Guide Dogs and we simply cannot thank them enough for their continued generosity and support.

“The dogs love all the attention they receive at these visits and the volunteers who dedicate their time enjoy answering all the queries and talking about their experiences as guide dog owners and/or volunteers.”

npower currently sponsor four guide dog puppies at Tibury power station and its offices in Swindon and Worcester. Orbie, a five month old golden Labrador is sponsored by the offices in the North East.

Gary Doig, npower’s Community Investment Manager in the North East said, “npower was delighted to sponsor our own guide dog puppy, Orbie, through the corporate charity committee. The Guide Dog visits to our North East sites will undoubtedly create a lot of interest amongst our employees, enabling them to learn more about the dogs themselves as well as increase awareness of the great work done by the charity. Hopefully Guide Dogs will also be able to recruit some future fundraisers f r o m amongst our people.”

There are around 4,600 guide dog partnerships throughout the UK; each costing about£50,000. The charity relies entirely on voluntary donations to funds its guide dog service.

Nicola explained: “Without the help of employers and staff like npower, Guide Dogs couldn’t provide its services for visually impaired people.

“There are still thousands of blind or partially sighted people who never leave the house alone because they lack the confidence and support to do so. Guide Dogs want to change this and provide independence and freedom to every visually impaired person who needs it.”

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npower Launches New Wallace & Gromit Ad – Hand Of Dog

While many England fans still bear the scars of the fateful game where Maradona proclaimed that the ‘Hand of God’ knocked England out in 1986, Wallace and Gromit exact their revenge in the new npower TV ad.

npower Launches New Wallace & Gromit Ad - Hand Of Dog

The new TV ad supports the Back the Bid 2018 campaign for England to host the FIFA World Cup(TM). As an official supporter of the bid npower is getting behind England 2018, as hosting the World Cup would provide a huge boost for British businesses large and small.

In one of the funniest football ads to be shown on British TV for many years, Wallace & Gromit, the eternal entrepreneurs, are all set to profit from a tournament in England with their madcap pie-making business – “WAG’s Pies Ltd”. As usual, their best-laid plans are threatened when Wallace’s latest invention – a pie-delivery machine – threatens the game with an errant pie.

Gromit sprints through the stands and onto the pitch making a leap for the runaway pie. As he flies through the air and catches hold of the pie, his other paw accidentally makes contact with the football sending it hurtling past the goalie and into the goal.

The advert ends with Wallace smugly viewing the success of his small business venture and Gromit enjoying a read of the local rag. The front page carries a photo of a very familiar dog scoring a goal under the headline “Hand of Dog”.

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Biogas Set To Power Our Homes

Biogas was once the domain of third world countries, but people at show that as energy costs skyrocket and new biogas designs come on the market, even people in a Western city can benefit from a biogas digester.

Biogas Set To Power Our Homes

Biogas is produced when organic matter is broken down by bacteria. The organic matter could be cow dung, but equally it could be the food scraps we throw away every day in our homes. Instead of these scraps going to landfill, they could be put far better use and go into a digester to produce biogas.

The biogas is made up of a large amount of methane, and methane is the important ingredient in biogas. Like natural-gas, biogas can be burned and used to heat water, create lighting or run our cooking stoves and it can even be used to run generators which produce electricity.

“We have been overwhelmed by the response to access the biogas information,” said Simon, a staffer at “Our digester designs cater for individual’s household use, but larger systems are also available for communities, farms and other commercial businesses”.

In the United States alone, billions of tonnes of manure are produced each year by millions of cattle, pigs and chickens. Imagine how much electricity would be produced if all this dung was processed in biogas digesters? Not only would it replace a lot of natural gas but the residue makes a wonderful fertilizer (often better than commercially prepared products).

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