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Queens Chronicle

Grumbling, utility will start hookups

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Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:32 pm, Thu Oct 24, 2019.

A reluctant National Grid said this week it would abide by an order from the state’s Public Service Commission and begin hooking up 1,157 former customers in New York City and on Long Island to gas service.

The order brought an end, at least temporarily, to the utility’s moratorium, declared last May, on new or restored gas connections in the metropolitan area.

The PSC said last Friday that it would begin to fine National Grid millions of dollars starting this week if it did not begin providing service to residential and small commercial customers in Queens and Brooklyn and on Long Island.

“With the winter heating season beginning, the Department of Public Service has determined that immediate action is warranted to address the customer hardships created by National Grid’s unwarranted denial of service,” PSC chairman John Rhodes said in a statement.

The utility has refused to process any new requests for service after the state’s environmental agency declined last spring to approve construction of a major gas pipeline across New York Harbor that would come ashore in the Rockaways.

National Grid said in a statement it was “disappointed” by the order but would comply.

“We stand by our analysis [that] there are very real gas supply constraints in the Northeast,” the statement reads. “In the meantime, we ... will immediately begin connecting the more than 1,100 applicants who have been identified in the order.”

The order did not cover about 2,500 other businesses and residential buildings the state says are also awaiting new service.

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