State: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire
Number of Customers: 170,500
Main Service Areas: New England
Contact Information: 1-888-301-7700
Unitil is utility company headquartered in Hampton, New Hampshire. Incorporated in 1984, this utility has several subsidiaries including Concord Electric Company, and Exeter & Hampton Electric Company. From 1992 to present day, Unitil merged with or acquired several additional utility companies, including non-regulated business subsidiaries, which broker energy services.
There are several areas within the United States where Unitil provides service. They include cities such as:
- East Kingston
- North Hampton
- South Hampton
The company as a whole is committed to attaining and keeping high standards when it comes to the maintenance, reliability and safety of gas and electric distribution systems. Unitil also provides customers with convenient and responsive services.
Unitil Facilities and Equipment
Unitil has many partners. They include, Unitil Energy Systems, Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company, Northern Utilities and Granite State Gas Transmission. These affiliates offer different services, from the transportation and delivery of natural gas to electricity brokerage services.
Unitil Rebates and Initiatives
Unitil is very interested in keeping its customers up to date on available energy market options – especially when those options include rebates and other savings.
Energy Efficiency programs are one of the ways in which Unitil offers rebates and initiatives. The programs benefit both the economy and the environment, while also reducing monthly energy costs for customers.
For natural gas customers living in Maine, there are several programs available that offer rebates for upgrades. Efficiency Maine is the formal name of the independent administrator for energy efficient programs in the state. The primary goal is to offer alternate energy system options to lower costs and environmental impacts. Run by a Board of Trustees and partnered with the Maine Public Utilities Commission, Efficiency Maine delivers rebates when customers purchase lights and equipment that use less energy.
If you do not live in Maine, Unitil offers many free energy saving tips for homes, businesses and products. If you live in New Hampshire there are several state programs similar to Efficiency Maine that will help you to receive energy savings. Residents living in Massachusetts are eligible for the Mass Save program, which helps customers of Unitil save through energy efficiency. The program offers home energy assessments, coupons and rebates for Energy Star products, heating and cooling upgrade incentives, and more.
Unitil Natural Gas SURE Project
Due to the rising demand for natural gas in Maine, in 2011, Unitil started one of the largest improvement projects in its company history. They began to replace and/or upgrade over 100 miles of natural gas pipeline in Portland and Westbrook, Maine.
The project includes approximately, 68.5 miles of pipe replacement and 36 miles of pressure upgrades. The work requires old cast iron pipes to be replaced with new plastics equipment that will help to increase the reliability of the system. It is Unitil?s hope that these upgrades will enable their company to grow their business. In addition, replacing the pipes with more modern equipment ensures that the system remains usable and safe.
Replacing pipelines over such a large area is a complex project with many critical factors to consider. Unitil estimates that the project will take 14 years to complete but the benefits to the customers (additional safety protection and better service options) ultimately trump disruption issues to local residents and businesses.
While electricity in Maine is deregulated, it is important to note that gas is not.
Unitil Gas Expansion Project in Saco
In addition to the replacement of pipelines, Unitil has proposed a project in Saco that will give around 1,000 businesses and residences the option to switch to gas. This project is a Targeted Area Build-out (TAB) Initiative and will help to make gas services cheap and more readily available. The construction will not require customers to pay any up-front costs to help ease the receptivity to transition to gas.
Saco is a happy participant in this development project as it is a growing community with both homes and businesses. Construction is estimated to begin in the spring of 2016.
As a reminder, gas is not yet deregulated in the state of Maine (electricity is).
Unitil in the Community
Unitil has several community partnerships with non-profit organizations. These partnerships include, the United Way and the Red Cross to whom they provide information and help during times of crisis. Unitil also donates a variety of equipment in order to ensure that the energy provided within the communities they service is safe and reliable.
Comparing Unitil Electricity Rates
While both electricity and gas are deregulated in Massachusetts, only electricity is deregulated in Maine and New Hampshire. Therefore, in all three states, Unitil offers customers the opportunity to choose their electricity supplier. It means that in order to remain competitive, the utility needs to offer services and rates that are in line with the rest of the market.
These plans include a Standard Residential Rate, which applies to all residential customers, and an Optional Fuel Assistance Rate, which applies to all income-eligible residential customers. Unitil also offers company or business plans like the Outdoor Lighting ? Company Owned Equipment and Customer Owned Equipment plan.
All plans and rates include several charges that may or may not be applied based on the signed agreement. Should a customer decide to have their electricity supplied by a registered supplier, then Unitil is not responsible for that service. Either way, Unitil is responsible for the delivery of energy to its customers and therefore is responsible should you experience an energy related emergency like a power outage.