Gas Service FAQs

I am interested in bringing natural gas to my home. How do I apply for natural gas service?
Gas Utilization Applications (GUAs) are available at Easton Utilities' business office between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday, excluding holidays.

I have completed my application and returned it. Now what happens?
A representative from the Gas Department will contact you to discuss installation feasibility. A letter will follow confirming gas application information as well as any required aid-in construction fees that must be paid prior to the installation.

I have paid Easton Utilities the required aid-in construction charges, when will my new line be installed?
A Gas Department representative will contact you to schedule the installation date. New installations require 1-3 weeks of lead-time due to various conditions and workload.

Will Easton Utilities connect to my house lines and appliances?
The connection to the house fuel lines and appliances is the property owners' responsibility and must be done by a qualified fuel piping contractor or appliance installer. As stated in our PSC tariff, we are responsible to the outlet side of the gas meter. Easton Utilities owns and maintains all lines up to and including the meter. All fuel piping after that point is the property and responsibility of the property owner.

How can I have the final connections from the gas meter to my home completed? Who can install lines to individual appliances?
A licensed gas fitter or HVAC contractor must complete all construction of gas piping or installation of appliances.

All gas fuel piping has been installed. Can the service be turned on?
After completion, the contractor you have chosen must complete and mail the yellow card you received with your application to the address printed on it. (We recommend the contractor read Section Three as it pertains to applicable codes.) Once this is received, a Gas Department representative will come out to turn on your service. The Gas Department representative will ensure card accuracy and look for obvious code or safety violations. The Gas Department does not, however, assume any responsibility as the jurisdictional entity to thoroughly inspect fuel piping to NFGC standards.

I am performing construction to my property and need the gas line and/or meter relocated. What do I do?
We ask that you fill out the “other requests” section of the GUA. After completion, the same steps will be followed and a representative will contact you. Please note: If the line and meter are moved, the property owner will be responsible for reconnections which must be completed by a licensed contractor. There may also be a charge for the gas service relocation.

I just want to see if gas is available at my home, but I am not sure whom to ask and don't want to start an application process.
It is best to complete an application and check off the “other information request” box. This way, we can record the inquiry and start the review process of the gas infrastructure in your neighborhood. We will then contact you with installation options.

I have an existing gas service which is currently off. How can I have it reestablished?
For reconnections or changes in billing information such as names or addresses, call our Customer Service Center at (410) 822-6110. Hours of operation are M-F 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Is the application process the same for Industrial and Commercial customers of natural gas?
Yes, the process is the same but a different application is required. (See Section One Q&A for steps) Often special construction standards are required for these customers. Examples are twin meter sets, meter banks, pads or venting. After the application is filed, Gas Department personnel will contact you and review any necessary specifications.

I am not sure if I reach minimum requirements for Commercial or Industrial classification?
The answers to the questions on the application will let us know what bracket you are to be categorized. Non-domestic gas usage under 2,000 CCF per month would be classified as commercial status. Over 2,000 CCF per month would be classified as Industrial status.

I have been classified as an Industrial/ Commercial customer. Will Easton Utilities perform fuel piping installations and connections for us?
All fuel lines and pipes after the outlet side of the gas meter are the responsibility of the property owner. All fuel piping and equipment installation must be completed in accordance with Section Three by a qualified fuel piping contractor.

I represent a developer and plan on constructing a residential sub-division or industrial park. How can I coordinate construction and obtain gas availability information?
For unique situations as described above, an application should be filled out and notations made. A Gas Department representative will contact you to discuss your requirements.

I have been contacted to perform gas piping work for an individual, and was shown a yellow card. What is it?
The yellow card ensures Easton Utilities that a qualified contractor completed the installation. We will not turn on gas to any customer where a substandard installation is observed.

The yellow card mentions pressure tests, various codes, etc. Does Easton Utilities need to be present or inspect this work?
Easton Utilities does not require inspections by company personnel or witness pressure tests. It is up to the individual property owner and his or her chosen licensed contractor to ensure all standards are met.

The yellow card has areas designated for both property owner and licensed contractor to place signatures. Are both signatures required?
Yes, both parties must sign. The signatures verify to Easton Utilities that all gas piping connected to our meter is safe, has been constructed to National Fuel Gas Code standards and meets Easton Utilities' requirements.

I have completed all contracted work and met all requirements. We have both signed the yellow card and it has been returned. Now what happens?
After we receive the yellow card, a Gas Department representative will schedule an appointment with you to unlock the gas meter. At this time, your heating contractor will light all equipment and Easton Utilities will check the premises for any discrepancies in information on the yellow card and perform an installation walk-through. This usually occurs within 1-2 business days after return of the yellow card.

FOR GAS FITTERS

I have received a request to perform fuel line work for a customer and have a question concerning pipe sizing, venting, and appliance installation. Can Easton Utilities come out and handle this for me?
Easton Utilities does not perform, design, or troubleshoot work beyond the customer's side of the meter. We recommend you read Installation Requirements for a listing of common problems and required specifications.

I understand that I need to make final connections from the outlet side to the meter set. How close am I required to be when I stub out my fuel lines and pressure test?
You must be within two feet, measured horizontally from the outlet side of the gas meter.

Where do you wish the pressure test to occur?
The required one hour, 20 lbs. pressure test point must be the stubbed out pipe within two feet of the meter. The final connection can be tested with leak detection fluid when we arrive to unlock the gas meter. The property owner must make arrangements to have his contractor available to fire off all units. For 2 lbs. systems, ensure the internal regulator does not become over-pressurized. This final connection can be tested when gas is turned on.

I need information on where the gas meter will be located so I can perform proper measurements. How can I obtain this information?
The meter location and point-of-service are determined by Easton Utilities. Exact location details will be made available to the property owner.

What are the installation requirements?

  1. All piping and gas appliances on the customer's premises shall be installed and maintained in accordance with the latest edition of the National Fuel Gas Code, manufacturer's recommendations and the applicable standards of the American National Standards Institute.

  2. All customer fuel piping is to be tested at 20psi for one hour. The pressure test point shall be the stubbed line within two feet from the gas meter. Remember to have appliances disconnected and valves to individual units turned off and plugged. This is to ensure no damage is incurred to appliance control valves.

    *Contractors note: Do not perform any pressure test against the gas meter or to a valve connected to the gas meter. The customers' stubbed out line is the sole acceptable location for testing. Damage to Easton Utilities property will be billed to the responsible party.

  3. Gas meters are set at a minimum of three feet from any possible ignition source. Common possible ignition sources include but are not limited to: air conditioners, lighting, pumps, exhausts, and vehicle traffic. If the meter set on your particular project contains a regulator, it will be installed to allow free venting into the atmosphere. This will be at a minimum of three feet from vents, windows, doors or any possible intake.

  4. If bollards or special barricades are required for service, it will be the responsibility of the property owner to provide construction or a protected location to install meters and establish a point-of-service.

  5. Easton Utilities reserves the right to discontinue service without notice for reasons of customer or property owner failure to maintain his equipment in a safe condition. Evidence of fraud, tampering with Easton Utilities property, improper equipment use or concern for the safety of other Easton Utilities customers will result in service termination.

  6. For structures such as town homes, apartment buildings or other unique structures, meter-banks are often required. If you, are unsure of what is needed, please contact Easton Utilities Gas Department prior to the start of any project.

  7. Be sure that you are ready for gas when returning the yellow card. You will notice a section for visitation date records on the Utility side of this report. Upon the third attempt or visit to a location for unlocking the meter, a $100 fee will be charged to the property owner. (Fee waived if situation results from action taken by Easton Utilities.)

  8. Where the customer's fuel pipe enters the home, a steel sleeve must be installed and secured in place. Once the fuel pipe is installed, the space between the pipe and sleeve must be filled.

  9. Easton Utilities' tariff states that we must be provided with “free access to our piping and property for the purposes of maintenance and repair.” Anytime this has been compromised, the property owner will be responsible for giving Easton Utilities free access or gas service may be terminated.

  10. If the piping contractor‘s final connection to the gas meter outlet does not meet industry standards, Easton Utilities will not unlock the gas meter until changes are made.

I recently had one of my gas-fired appliances turned off by an Easton Utilities field representative and a red tag was affixed to it. Why was this done and what is its purpose?
Often field personnel come across gas units that are not installed to code or are unsafe to operate. The tag represents notice of the unsafe situation. This tag will also list any recommendations for repairs to the service provider you have contracted with. You will be asked to sign a portion of the tag as acknowledgment of the situation.

*Please note: Employees will perform cursory function checks to appliances to prevent tagging but cannot perform major repairs.

When my gas appliance was red-tagged, I contracted with a local vendor for repairs. Does Easton Utilities need to inspect repairs or be notified when repairs are completed?
Easton Utilities does not need to inspect the repair. We strongly recommend the property owner ask their contractor for proof of insurance and license to perform needed work. Once the red tag is issued, it is the property owner's responsibility to ensure all gas appliances are installed and/or repaired correctly and operating in a safe manner. Easton Utilities does not follow-up on issued red tags.

I have scheduled an Easton Utilities field representative to visit my home. I need to go out for a while and will leave the back porch doors unlocked. Can you come inside to complete necessary tasks?
Unfortunately, we cannot. We require a person at least 18 years of age to accompany us while performing work on our customer's premises.

Who decides what the various rate charges are?
Often gas consumption increases as gas-fired units age or fall outside of factory recommended maintenance schedules. This combined with insulation factors, ambient temperature and the area size to be heated can result in changes to your consumption. We recommend consulting your local heating contractor to perform efficiency tests to determine your particular needs. All rate schedules are approved by the PSC and are included in our Gas Tariff which can be accessed on our website.

I am having a stove replaced. Do I need to coordinate with Easton Utilities' Gas Department?
No, you do not. The National Fuel Gas Code requires all appliances to have an individual valve to perform such replacement functions. Occasionally, the owner discovers that his appliance is directly connected to his internal fuel lines. In this case, contact EUC's Customer Service Center and notify them of the situation. A time will be scheduled for a Gas Service Department representative to turn off the gas meter.

*Remember, if for any reason, a vendor or property owner takes action that results in a line to be shut off, this individual is responsible for ensuring all gas units are operating in a safe manner when gas feed is reestablished.

I plan on leaving town for an extended period of time. Can Easton Utilities come in and shut down individual appliances and re-light them when I return?
For seasonal practices similar to the above described, we do not turn off and re-light customer's appliances. If you prefer to shut down your gas appliances during the non-heating months, we recommend that you contact a heating contractor to assist you. A listing is provided in Section Five.

*Please note Easton Utilities does not perform any gas appliance maintenance functions.

I noticed that the gas piping from the outlet of the gas meter to the point where it enters my home is rusty. Whose responsibility is it to maintain this?
It is the homeowner's responsibility to maintain all fuel piping from the outlet of the gas meter to the individual appliances it serves. This includes painting and inspecting pipe hangers if applicable.

Is it OK for me to plant shrubs around my outside gas meter or store items around my inside gas meter?
Yes, you may plant shrubs around your gas meter, but you must call Miss Utility at 1-800-491-8355 prior to digging any holes to verify the utility locations in your yard. Also, you must leave room for Gas Department employees to read and maintain gas meters. It is not a wise idea to store items around a gas meter or any gas appliance. Not only is free access to the gas meter necessary, storing items near a gas-fired appliance can present a safety concern.

Why should I choose natural gas?

Cooking with Natural Gas: Natural gas cooking appliances operate on about half the cost of an electric range. Professional chefs also prefer gas cooking appliances because of their accurate heat control. Current models do not have a standing pilot but rather use an electric spark to ignite the burner. During power outages, gas ranges are desired as they retain the capability to be lit manually.

Gas Clothes Dryers: Gas dryers can be the largest energy saver in your home. Current models are the most energy efficient to date and dry quicker and cheaper than electric styles.

Gas Water Heaters: Typically, the water heater is the second largest contributor to your energy bill, followed by fuel spent on heating and air conditioning. Water heating uses approximately 15 to 25 percent of all home energy. Replacing your electric units can result in lower energy bills and increased reliability, not to mention the faster recovery and increased amounts of available hot water from your gas unit.

Gas Furnaces: Today's modern gas furnaces convert up to 97 cents of your energy dollar into usable heat. The speedy heat recovery of a gas furnace, combined with lowering your thermostat slightly at night, can reduce your heating bill up to 15% annually.

Gas Fired Space Heaters: Natural gas space heaters are relatively inexpensive to install. They provide heat where and when it is needed. Often, they are the ideal option for summer homes, garages, guest houses, additions, and work shops. With their fuel efficiency, ease of installation and independent operation, gas-fired space heaters present the owner with several solutions to individual heating requirements.

Gas Fireplaces and Fire Logs: The expense associated with the operation of a natural gas fireplace is cheaper on average than wood. Many styles are vent free, providing unparalleled flexibility for placement. With wood fireplaces you must purchase, stack, carry and light the wood. Then there is the mess of ash and burn marks from popping embers and sparks, yearly chimney cleaning and associated fire hazards of going to bed with glowing embers in the hearth. With a gas fireplace insert, heat can be as easy as the flick of a switch. Peace of mind, lower energy bills and reliability are some of the benefits from utilizing natural gas. Stop by Easton Utilities' Customer Service Center and fill out an application to see if natural gas is available at your home or business.

REMEMBER...It is in your best interest to have a licensed, qualified contractor install your gas appliances. It is important that you adhere to local building codes and follow manufacturers' instructions for operations and installation. This ensures safe and efficient operation for years to come.

What should I do if I smell natural gas in my house?
Call 410-822-6110. We'll Be Right There… Holidays. Weekends. Nights. Anytime.

Natural gas has no odor of its own. Its distinctive odor is actually a harmless chemical we add so you can detect even the smallest amount that might escape. It smells bad… but that's good! Everyone should be able to recognize our built-in safety signal.

IF YOU SMELL GAS INDOORS…

If the odor is faint, “follow your nose to the source” if possible. It may only be a pilot light that's out or a burner valve that's partially turned on… something easily and safely corrected. If the pilot light or burner valve is not the cause of the leak, call Easton Utilities immediately.

IF YOU SMELL GAS OUTDOORS...

Call Easton Utilities immediately. Our special equipment will detect the source of the leak so we can make the necessary repairs. Please keep in mind that there is never a reason to be embarrassed should the suspected leak turn out not to be a leak. If you detect what seems to be a gas leak, don't hesitate to call.

NATURAL GAS IS NOT POISONOUS

It does not contain carbon monoxide, the cause of so-called "Gas Poisoning." However, when burning gas or any fuel, carbon monoxide can be produced by lack of air, improperly working appliances or poor flue conditions. As a basic precaution, be sure that flue connections and venting are always in perfect working order - unobstructed and properly fitted.