Southern Connecticut Gas to resume repair, maintenance work for consumers without service contracts

Officials with Orange-based Southern Connecticut Gas appear to have had a change of heart about the utility’s decision to suspend service on natural gas-fueled furnaces and other appliances for consumers who don’t have repair contracts with the company.

Vic Fryxell, senior director of gas operations for SCG, said the repair and maintenance work, which the company calls discretionary work or charged service, will resume sometime in mid-October. The company suspended most non-emergency work requiring entry into a customer’s home in March in an effort to protect the health and safety of its service technicians.

Fryxell said while much of the work has since resumed, SCG was continuing to eschew appliance service and repairs for consumers who didn’t have contracts with the utility for that kind of work.

“SCG expects to resume this discretionary work in mid-October, with the onset of the heating season, following strict hygiene and safety protocols, and subject to guidance from the public health authorities,” Fryxell said in a letter to the New Haven Register. “Meanwhile, SCG continues to honor contractual obligations and perform all work necessary to maintain safe and reliable natural gas service for its customers.”

Fryxell’s comments come after the New Haven Register did a story on the company’s decision to suspend charged service. Several consumers expressed a frustration at SCG’s action, saying they received no warning that they would have to make alternate arrangements. Since suspending charged service work, SCG representatives have been telling consumers to contact a qualified plumber or HVAC contractor.

Ed Crowder, an SCG spokesman, said it was always the company’s intent to resume charged service work at some point. But prior to Fryxell’s letter, which was received earlier this week, company officials refused to be more specific about when that might happen.

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