Storm Preparation

house in a stormWith Tropical Storm Henri approaching there are certain things that everyone can do to be as prepared as possible should a storm hit the region.

Prepare for a Storm:

  • Have candles and flashlights available for emergency light, and a battery-operated radio for weather reports and other information. Make sure you have matches and fresh batteries, too.
  • Create an emergency kit with essential items such as food, water and communication devices. It should include non-perishable food, water bottles, medicine and supplies. There should be enough items to survive at least 72 hours.
  • Perform any maintenance on your generator (if you have one) and fuel up. Go soon to beat the rush.
  • If you see that a major storm is coming be sure to charge all your cellphones and tablets as well as any backup batteries you may have.
  • Please note: Customers with special medical problems such as having oxygen requirements should have a backup plan.
  • Make sure you have plenty of drinking water.

During an outage:

  • If your power suddenly shuts off, the main breaker in your electrical breaker box may have tripped. You can restore power simply by moving the switch to “off,” then back to the “on” position. Check your fuses, too, if you have them.
  • If your area is without power, or you see any downed wires, call Groton Utilities at (860) 446-4000. Call us if you see damage to electrical equipment, or anything out of the ordinary such as trees or branches on wires. Do not go near any wires. Downed wires can be very dangerous.
  • Keep refrigerators and freezers closed. Contents should be safe for at least 24 hours. Turn off your appliances. When power is restored, turn them back on gradually.
  • Don’t worry. We respond to outages as soon as it is safe and continue to work until all customers have power. Once you’ve called, please resist the temptation to call back. However, if your neighbors have their electricity back and you’re still out, you should call again. In the case of a full hurricane, your patience would certainly be most appreciated.

For more information see the State of Connecticut Guide to Emergency Preparation.

 

Spring 2021 Rebate Promotion

Groton Utilities believes in “Efficiency through Electrification” and wants to help electrify your life!

With that in mind, Groton Utilities is happy to announce our springtime rebate promotion – dramatically increasing our available rebates for Electric Vehicles, HVAC Mini-Splits and Hybrid Heat Pump Hot Water Heaters.

A number of electric products are much more energy efficient and climate friendly than their traditional counterparts and Groton Utilities’ goal is to help ease the financial burden of equipment acquisition for our customers.

Learn more about our spring promotions or visit our Rebate Center.

 

Electric Vehicles:

Electric vehicles (EVs) are a great way to save money while saving the environment. Imagine never having to buy gasoline for your car ever again. Plus EVs produce far fewer emissions that contribute to climate change and smog than conventional vehicles.

Spring Promotion – all rebates doubled

  • All Electric purchase – SPECIAL PROMOTION $4,000
  • All Electric lease – SPECIAL PROMOTION $2,000
  • Plugin Hybrid vehicle purchase – SPECIAL PROMOTION $2,000

 

HVAC Mini-Splits:

Mini-splits are heating and cooling systems that allow you to control temperatures in individual rooms through use of an external compressor. Groton Utilities residential HVAC Mini-Splits rebate program provides cash incentives for new or replacement energy efficient mini-split HVAC systems that meet high efficiency standards.

Spring Promotion:

  • Full cost of compressor equipment (installation not included) up to a maximum of $5,000 per compressor.

 

Hybrid Heat Pump Hot Water Heaters:

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculates that a family of four will spend $330 less on hot water every year by switching to a Heat Pump Hot Water Heater from a conventional electric unit. Groton Utilities residential hybrid heat pump water heater rebate program provides cash incentives for new or replacement energy efficient heat pump water heaters that meet high efficiency standards.

Spring Promotion:

  • Full cost of the equipment (installation not included) up to a maximum of $2,500.

 

Eligibility Requirements:

Only residential electric customers of Groton Utilities and Bozrah Light & Power are eligible. Mini-splits and hybrid heat pump water heater must be installed by a licensed contractor. Limit of one rebate per electric utility account per rebate type per year. Proof of purchase and installation (if applicable) is required. See website at https://grotonutilities.com/energy-conservation/conservation-residential-energy-conservation-center/ for complete eligibility requirements.

All rebates are granted at the sole discretion of Groton Utilities and are subject to change at any time.

 

 

 

Rebates and Tax Credits Make Buying an Electric Vehicle More Affordable

With electric vehicles (EV) starting to come into their own (technology-wise) this is really the best time to purchase an electric vehicle. More than 330,000 electric vehicles were sold in the United States in 2019, compared to approximately 157,000 just three years earlier. Electric charging stations are beginning to pop up in more and more places and home chargers are reasonably affordable as well. Additionally, the range that an EV can travel on a single charge has increased over the years to the point where many models exceed 250 miles on a single charge. Tesla, in fact, has several models that they claim can travel well over 300 miles without needing a charge.

Electric vehicles are clearly the wave of the future, but that future has taken a little longer to arrive than some may have expected. That’s partly because of range limitations and a prior lack of on-the-run charging options. More importantly, the hold-up on the EV revolution may be due to the cost of purchasing an EV is often-times prohibitive. It is all well and good to be mentally ready to make the switch to an all-electric car, but when push comes to shove the (financial) bottom-line often rules the day when making a vehicle purchase. Though the cost of an electric vehicle has come more in line with their gasoline counterpart in recent years, EVs still cost more, plain and simple.

We have good news.

State, local and federal governments want you to switch over to electric vehicles. EVs are essential to achieve the U.S. Government’s renewable energy, air quality, and climate change goals. The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the United States is from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation – with transportation making up the largest portion.

To help ease the burden of purchasing electric vehicles there are rebates available from the State of Connecticut, the U.S Government and from Groton Utilities. Below is a list of currently available rebates and links to appropriate websites to apply for them.

FEDERAL:

Receive up to $7,500 in federal tax credits for buying an Electric Vehicle

United States Department of Energy Federal Incentive Program

GROTON UTILITES:

For a limited time Groton Utilities will issue a $2,000 rebate for an electric vehicle purchased by Groton Utilities and Bozrah Light & Power customers. Also available is a $1,000 rebate for an electric vehicle leased by Groton Utilities and Bozrah Light & Power customers. For more information, visit the Groton Utilities Electric Vehicle Rebate Program page on our website.

Additionally Groton Utilities has a $600 rebate available on the purchase of any wifi-enabled level 2 charger. Visit our Electric Vehicle Rebate Program page on our website for more information.

STATE:

Receive up to a $5,000 rebate from the State of Connecticut for residents who purchase or lease a new eligible battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric or fuel cell electric vehicle.

CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection – EV Connecticut

 

Non-Groton Utilities Customers Banking Transaction Issue

Groton Utilities has become aware of a problem with some non-Groton Utilities customers having what appears to be a deposit to Groton Utilities listed among their banking transactions. This appears to be a problem with mortgage payments made to TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America) being erroneously listed as being made to Groton Utilities. It appears that the payments are still being successfully made to TIAA, as no unexpected payments have arrived at Groton Utilities.

We recommend that if this payment anomaly has occurred with your account to please contact TIAA at 866-282-4380 while also checking your on-line account with TIAA. We at Groton Utilities will continue to pursue a solution to this issue as well.

https://www.tiaa.org/public/

GU Electric Rate Plan Zoom Meeting – Monday, January 4th 6:30 PM

Groton Utilities is happy to announce that we have approved a new electric rate plan that will reduce electric bills for most GU customers in the coming year. Groton Utilities will maintain having one of the lowest rates in the state.

On Wednesday December 16th the Groton Utilities’ Commission agreed to move forward with an updated three (3) year rate track for all Groton Utilities (GU) rate payers. A public hearing will be held on tonight via Zoom. During that time GU looks forward to hearing from any and all interested parties.

Zoom Meeting Information:

January 4, 2020 at 6:30 PM
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/93463797902?pwd=dVZlemRyOEVmN2ZRNkhSSE40a0xlZz09

The 3-year rate track provides for reductions to virtually all customer’s electric bills. The residential rate classification will see a -0.6%, -0.2% and 0.0% rate reductions respectively. The small commercial rate class will see -0.3% followed by 0.0% rate adjustments while the medium commercial class will see modest changes at 0.8%, -1.2% and -0.1% respectively. More energy intensive commercial/industrial customers within the large general service class will see the largest reductions at -3.2% followed by two years at 0.0%.

Groton Utilities is proud to offer another three years of price stability. Although distribution costs continue to rise, GU has been able to hold rates steady for nearly a decade through reductions in wholesale energy markets and sound fiscal policy. We believe this updated rate track compliments our mission to be a premiere utility – at your service!

 

DPH Celebrates GU’s Water Treatment Plant Phase 3 Completion

On Monday, November 30th the City of Groton and Groton Utilities, along with the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Drinking Water Section, held a virtual celebration to mark completion of a crucial phase of Groton Utilities’ water treatment plant construction project. With completion of phase three (out of five) of the plant rollout, water is now being clarified and filtered within the new water treatment plant.

The new filtration plant replaces a plant that was originally constructed in 1938.

“It’s quite an accomplishment,” said Lori Mathieu, CT DPH Environmental Health and Drinking Water Branch Chief. “We’re so pleased to be able to celebrate this today. Especially during this time of COVID…. this is an extraordinary project (to complete) during normal times, but it’s incredibly extraordinary during the time of COVID. You’ve done such a great job. We are so very proud to work with you on this project and be part of it.”

According to Cam Walden, Supervising Sanitary Engineer from DPH, this project was considered the state’s number one priority for its Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program dating back the project’s inception. The $54 million project was the largest project that has been funded through the DWSRF program and the first project to receive state grant funds from the DPH’s Public Water System Improvement Program ($15 million).

“The project will greatly strengthen the drinking water infrastructure in this region of Connecticut for the next several decades,” said Walden. “My hat goes off to all of the operators and staff at Groton Utilities and all of the management as well. They had to keep the existing plant operating safely during construction.”

As part of the celebration Rick Stevens, Groton Utilities Manager – Water Division, narrated a pre-recorded video virtual tour of the new plant as water was directed through the new plant for the first time.

City of Groton Mayor Keith Hedrick expressed gratitude to all who participated in the project, but specifically pointed out the Groton Utilities staff.

“The employees are the men and women who started the project, and they’re going to continue it. And we’re going to have a state-of-the-art facility because of them that will meet water standards now and into the future.”

Construction of the new water treatment plant began in September of 2017. The main DAF (Dissolved Air Flotation) building is approximately 20,000 square feet and is where the primary filtration functions occur. The new filtration plant can process up to 12 million gallons of water per day, far more than the maximum of the previous plant. In addition, two new elevated water storage tanks were constructed, both of which can hold up to 1 million gallons of water in reserve.

Groton Utilities provides water to approximately 45,000 people daily. The current service area includes the City of Groton, Town of Groton, Noank, Groton Long Point, the Mohegan Tribal Authority, the towns of Montville and Ledyard, and the Aquarion Water Company’s Mystic division. Also available are emergency interconnects to the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority, Norwich, New London, Waterford and East Lyme. Amongst Groton Utilities larger clients are Pfizer, Electric Boat and the U.S. Naval Submarine Base.

The construction project is expected to be fully complete in the spring of 2021.

 

 

Municipal Building Closed After Thanksgiving

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the region, the City of Groton will be closing offices to the public beginning Monday, November 30, 2020, with plans to reopen on Monday, December 14, 2020. The Municipal Building closure will help limit any potential post-Thanksgiving increase in COVID-19 cases and protect City employees from possible exposure.

The Municipal Building will be open Thanksgiving week on Monday and Tuesday, November 23 – 24, 2020. City offices will be closed to the public on Wednesday but will be available via phone during normal business hours. Offices will be closed Thursday and Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

While the building is closed, residents and customers may still call City and utility departments for assistance. Groton Utilities customers can pay their utility bills either online through the company website, grotonutilities.com, or on the phone with a customer service representative at 860-446-4000.

City employees are available to meet with residents or customers by appointment only. Please use the blue drop box located in the front of the Municipal Building to drop off any paperwork for any City department.

Don’t Fall for Utility Scams

Uprotect from scamstility scammers work year-round, but the Better Business Bureau says they’re most active in the peak winter and summer months, when people rely on heat or air conditioning. Please be aware of the tactics that scammers use to steal your personal information by following the tips below.

  • Never pay over the phone in response to a call, especially when you’re threatened with a service disconnection if you don’t pay immediately. Your utility will never demand immediate payment over the phone. If you’re getting pressured, hang up and call the customer service number on your utility bill — this will ensure you’re speaking to a real utility employee.
  • Before shutting off your electricity, natural gas or water service, your utility will send you one or more disconnection notices in the mail, and give you several bill payment options, typically online, by phone, automatic bank draft, mail or in person.
  • Utilities don’t accept gift cards and they never require customers to buy prepaid debit cards, like Green Dot or MoneyPak, to pay their bill. Instructions to pay by prepaid debit or wire transfer is a red flag.
  • Don’t trust caller ID, even if it shows the name of your utility company. Scammers know how to “spoof” caller ID to make it read whatever they want. It’s another sneaky part of the scam that fools a lot of people.
  • Report the interaction to the FTC if you think a scammer has contacted you. ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
  • Delete all suspicious emails that demand or require immediate action to verify personal information.

The bottom line is do not trust people that call you unexpectedly asking for personal information or credit card information. If you have any doubt whatsoever, hang up and call Groton Utilities Customer Service at 860-446-4000.

Learn more at https://www.utilitiesunited.org/