UPDATE from 07/07/15
In a meeting with CCIAOR recently, National Grid updated the progress on the natural gas moratorium in parts of the Mid and Lower Cape.
Timeline Replacement Schedule Updated
National Grid presented an updated timeline for replacing the pipeline, which shows now a 3 to 5 year replacement schedule (depending upon permitting and needed reviews) instead of the 5 to 7 year timeline initially laid out. NGrid hopes to start construction in September 2017 and are gearing up for a Summer 2019 completion, which would be 5 years from initial need of pipeline replacement.
No Private Rights-of-Way needed
By the end of June 2015, National Grid had completed 30% of the plans for the pipeline replacement, which gives them the thresehold to move forward with starting the permitting process. They have identified no private rights-of-way will be needed for the project as the replacement line will run parallel (usually 3 to 5 feet from existing) or in some places – the other side of the road.
An update on adding gas capacity
Town inspectors have to issue a permit if meter can handle added load, but National Grid is asking homeowner not to add the load because it will cause reliability problems to that homeowner and across the gas grid. So, please caution your clients that just because the town inspector will issue a permit, they should seek counsel with National Grid to ensure the system can handle any increase in load on an existing meter.
UPDATE from 03/07/15
In a meeting with CCIAOR on March 6, National Grid officials announced they were loosening the moratorium review process for the Town of Barnstable and its affiliated villages. National Grid is restoring pre-moratorium process for natural gas conversions throughout the Town of Barnstable for gas capacities of less than 1000 cfh. A traditional residential house usually has a gas capacity of 250 cfh.
Officials said the review process in Yarmouth could take as long as six to eight weeks when requesting permission to convert to natural gas. However, they indicated their goal is to cut that time in half and to try to reduce it even further. National Grid says they need to know what specific items will be on gas to review whether a property owner would be able to connect in Yarmouth.
UPDATED from 2/6/15
National Grid issued more guidance today regarding the natural gas sales moratorium in the Mid and Upper Cape towns. The company clarified some aspects of the moratorium and issued expanded fact sheets.
Working with buyers and sellers in Barnstable & Yarmouth and they are asking about gas connections?
For questions concerning whether a property in Barnstable or Yarmouth can add new or expanded gas service, contact Kerrie Doyle at (781) 907-2201 with questions regarding the availability of new natural gasservice in Barnstable and Yarmouth.
1. New residential and commercial and industrial customer gas service connections are prohibited.
2. Incremental gas load on existing commercial and industrial customer gas accounts is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, heating, hot water, cooking and other types of loads.
3. Incremental gas load on existing residential customer gas accounts is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, heating, hot water, cooking and other types of loads, unless it meets one of the exceptions below.
1. For existing residential gas customers only, natural gas barbecues are permitted as
2. For existing residential gas customers only, emergency backup natural gas
generators are permitted as added load, subject to application, review and approval
of the Company. Please contact Kerrie Doyle at (781) 907-2201 for questions
regarding the availability of service to new natural gas generators.
Clarifying Gas Sales Moratorium for Dennis to Eastham:
The requirements for the moratorium are as follows:
NEW National Grid Gas Sales Moratorium Fact Sheet for Cape Cod
ORIGINAL POST 12/15/15
As you may be aware, National Grid announced changes earlier this month to gas conversions, hookups and upgrades in the Mid and Lower Cape. The Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS® participated in a stakeholder meeting early last week to obtain more information relating to the issue. CCIAOR has put together the following briefing on the issue to share with our membership base*. If you have additional questions, please contact CCIAOR’s Chief Executive Officer, Ryan Castle 508.957.4300 or email@example.com.
IssueSet featured image
National Grid provides natural gas service to approximately 100,000 businesses and residences on Cape Cod. Following a recent inspection, the company made the decision to lower the pressure in a 21-mile stretch of natural gas main, as well as perform infrastructure upgrades to maintain the reliability and safety of the system. While the gas main is safe, some of its welds and other equipment no longer meet current standards for operating at a high pressure. Therefore, the company lowered the pressure in the main from a 200 pound maximum to a 125 pound maximum. This puts less stress on infrastructure, but it also reduces the natural gas capacity.
What does this mean?
To accommodate the reduced amount of gas distributed and to meet the needs of their current customers so they can continue receiving reliable gas service, National Grid is making changes to availability of new gas service and upgrades to existing gas service in the Mid and Lower Cape towns.
As a result, National Grid will not be able to connect new customers to our natural gas system in certain areas in the mid- to lower- Cape Cod, including the communities of Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Chatham, Orleans, Eastham and possibly Barnstable and Yarmouth.
Barnstable and Yarmouth
Properties in Barnstable and Yarmouth could still be eligible for new service, conversions or an upgrade in service, but they must go through a review process to see if the system can handle it. Currently that review process could take from 4 to 6 weeks, although National Grid says they hope to shorten that review period to closer to one week.
How does this impact REALTORS® and their clients?
Those selling or buying properties in Barnstable and Yarmouth who may want to covert to natural gas or upgrade their existing gas meter should urge buyers to contact National Grid to get answers as to natural gas availability and should not assume because gas is on the street that it can be connected. Buyers or sellers can contact National Grid’s Kerrie Doyle at 781.907.2201 to begin the process of determining natural gas availability.
Dennis through Eastham
A moratorium on new gas connections, conversions, and upgrades is currently in effect. There is no definitive date on when the moratorium will be lifted.
How does this impact REALTORS® and their clients?
Those selling and buying properties from Dennis to Eastham need to be aware that gas service is unavailable now and there is no promise of when a gas conversion could take place or when service could be added. National Grid has estimated it could take 5 to 7 years.
What is National Grid’s solution?
National Grid has said they are starting the process to replace the line to handle the 200 pound capacity. That process could take 5 to 7 years depending upon engineering, permitting, and construction. The Cape Cod Commission, who was also in attendance at the stakeholder meeting, is committed to doing everything in their power to expedite and run concurrent approval processes with the state and local government, in an effort to have bureaucratic delays minimized.
Will everything remain the same until the line is replaced?
National Grid says they will reevaluate capacity every year and make necessary adjustments to ensure the safety of the line and the reliability of natural gas to existing customers.
What if a property has existing gas service, but during a renovation/tear down, capped off the line for construction?
National Grid said those properties are accounted for in their model and will be able to go back to the existing level of gas service, but contact National Grid to confirm your property was included in their model.
How about those with applications in for new gas service, an upgrade, or a conversion?
All applications that were received by October 1, 2014 will be honored, according to National Grid. There were approximately 600 submitted.
What is the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS® doing for its members and their clients?
CCIAOR will continue to monitor and report the latest news to REALTORS® to ensure they have the most up to date, relevant information. We will continue to work with our stakeholder partners, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Cape Cod, to evaluate any advocacy needed to ensure natural gas conversion and hookups return in a timely manner.
Tips for REALTORS® handling questions from clients about natural gas service:
– Direct them to National Grid for answers to questions
– Do not say gas service could be converted or assume because gas is at the street that it can be tapped into
– If questions arise, disclose what you know
– Inform to explore other solutions other than national gas
– Call the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® legal hotline for guidance or disclosure issues at 800-370-5342 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for National Grid Cape Cod Gas Capacity Fact Sheet
Click here for a map of the affected areas of Cape Cod.